Truckload freight volumes were stronger than analysts expected in the first weeks of the fourth quarter, according to investment research firm Jefferies.
Seasonally adjusted truckload volumes were up 3.2 percent year-over-year in October, according to American Trucking Associations data, Jefferies said Monday. Non-adjusted volumes were up 3.4 percent. The investment firm, in comparison, expected truckload volumes to increase 2 to 3 percent in that period.
“Our recent channel checks suggest the October strength in dry van TL loads continued through November,” analyst Peter Nesvold said in a note to investors.
That strength was apparent at Landstar System, which said last week said loads in the first 10 weeks of the fourth quarter were up 9 percent from a year ago. According to the ATA, truckload revenue per mile was up 4.2 percent in October, less than the 5.2 percent increase reported in September, Jefferies said.
“Heading into 2012, we believe the [truckload] industry can hold low-single-digit price increases for next year,” Nesvold said in the Dec. 12 investor note.
Separately, the ATA reported truck tonnage increased 5.7 percent year-over-year in October, largely thanks to the strength of U.S. manufacturing.