Dry van loadings continue growth in July
Volume growth has slowed following a sizable increase in early Q2. Dry Van loadings were up only 0.3% in July to 22.098 million. Year-over-year growth has shown substantial improvement as volumes were weakening during this time last year, up 6.2%.
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 0.7% in Q4 and 1.5% in Q1 before surging 3.1% in Q2.
Our growth assumptions for the rest of 2012 remain reasonable and we expect to achieve growth of 4.3% in 2012. After that we see little change from last month’s forecast with growth of 4.0% in 2013 and 3.9% in 2014.
Dry van loadings are running ahead of industry averages because of strength in finished manufactured goods. The dramatic acceleration of year-over-year growth is also due to weaker comparisons. Note that van rates charged to shippers have not reflected this strength, recently running below reefer and platform rates.