They haul the freight we produce in our shops.

The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased for the sixth time in the last seven months, gaining another 0.9 percent in April.  This followed a 0.4 percent increase in March.
The latest improvement put the SA index at 110.2 (2000=100), which is the highest level since September 2008. 
Over the last seven months, the tonnage index grew a total of 6.5 percent.
We add this indicator to a growing list of indicators that show that this recovery has “legs” and we are now in what we have been calling “a new normal.”
Compared with April 2009, SA tonnage surged 9.4 percent, which was the fifth consecutive year-over-year gain and the largest increase since January 2005. 
Year-to-date, tonnage is up 6 percent compared with the same period in 2009.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said that the latest tonnage reading fits with a sustained economic recovery. “Truck tonnage volumes continue to improve at a solid, yet sustainable, rate. Tonnage is being boosted by robust manufacturing output and stronger retail sales.”  (emphasis ours!)
Bottom Line: Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 68 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods.  The latest ATA numbers confirm our manufacturing  markets continue their recovery. 
The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry.
Read the full article here.
And  lets hope that precision manufacturing keeps on truckin’..
Yes, we remember R.Crumb from our college days...

What do you think? Have your shipments increased as reflected in the ATA report?
R. Crumb Keep On Truckin sticker

It feels like our industry just finished a  year long  work out at the gym.

Describes our last year pretty well.

Based on this, I’d say we have lost a lot of weakness as we cut waste and reduced capacity.
Now that we are out of the Gym, and back to a “new normal,” are we still managing like we were in the gym workout?
Or are we managing in light of the new business environment?
We  lost weight and built organizational muscle able to do more with less.
Now that we are out of the Gym, shouldn’t we be focused on rebuilding our business, and less on losing weight…
What do you think?
See our article in Production Machining  Our Year in the Gym
Photo credit