The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.7% in November, after falling 1.9% in October.

In November, the index equaled 128.5 (2000=100) versus 125.1 in October. November’s level is a record high. Compared with November 2012, the seasonally adjusted index surged 8.1%, which is down from October’s 9% surge, but still very robust. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2012, tonnage is up 5.8%.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 122.4 in November, which is 8.8% below the previous month (134.2).

“Tonnage snapped back in November, which fits with several other economic indicators,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Assuming that December isn’t weak, tonnage growth this year will be more than twice the gain in 2012.” 

Tonnage increased 2.3% in 2012. Costello noted tonnage accelerated in the second half of the year, indicating that the economy is likely stronger some might believe.

“Still, truck tonnage continues to be supported by fast growing sectors of the economy that generate heavy freight loads, like residential construction, fracking for oil and natural gas, and auto production,” Costello said.