Dry van loadings up in June, Q2 revised higher
July 25, 2012
Revisions to the Q2 data are highlighted by the significant surge that occurred in this market early in the quarter. A surge in April, where volumes jumped 3.6% from the prior month, moved year-over-year growth from ~2% to over 4%. The April surge was led by a strong increase in food movements and better-than-anticipated auto parts loadings. Dry Van loadings were up 0.4% from May to June, hitting 21.957 million loadings. On a year-over-year basis volumes improved 4.5% – helped by April’s significant gain.
Dry van freight fell in 2007 and then started dropping hard in late 2008. It bottomed out in Q3 of 2009 and then rose for six consecutive quarters before easing in the middle of 2011. Loadings fell 10.9% during 2009. Volume rebounded strongly in 2010, showing a gain of 5.0%. Loadings rose a more modest 2.7% in 2011 (revised up from 2.3% last month). Loadings were flat or modestly negative for most of 2011 but started moving higher in December. They then surged in April to the highest level since 2008. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, loadings have improved the last 3 quarters. They rose 0.5% in Q4 and 1.3% in Q1 before surging 3.2% in Q2.
We have not pulled down our growth assumptions for the rest of 2012 and that means that we can now expect to achieve growth of 3.9% in 2012, well above the 2.4% forecast from last month. After that we see little change from last month’s forecast with growth of 3.5% in 2013 and 3.7% in 2014.
If the revised data holds true then Q2 was the single largest quarterly growth of this recovery and puts us near levels last seen in mid-2008. Loadings rose 3.2% from the prior quarter and were up 4.3% from last year. Most of the gain came from a one-time surge in April. The April surge was led by a strong increase in food movements and better-than-anticipated auto parts loadings. The one-time uptick has not caused us to revise our growth assumptions for the rest of the year. Dry van demand is now tracking just above the industry average for both 2012 and 2013
U.S. Truck Loadings is the estimated number of truck loads originated in the United States plus truck loads that come to U.S. destinations from Mexico and Canada. It is tons divided by the average tons per truck. FTR’s data is seasonally adjusted and measures both short and long-haul OTR segments.
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