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Truck Tonnage in August Climbs 4.1%

Posted - September 25, 2019
Seasonally adjusted truck tonnage rose 4.1% in August compared with a year earlier, according to American Trucking Associations’ For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index.
    The index also showed seasonally adjusted tonnage increased 4.3% year-to-date compared with the first eight months in 2018.
      On a sequential basis, the index’s seasonally adjusted tonnage declined 3.2% in August after jumping 6.2% in July.
        At the same time, ATA’s sequential measure of tonnage actually hauled rose, too.
          The change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment equaled 125.1 in August, 2.2% above the July level of 122.3. In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.
            ATA's Bob Costello
            “The large swings continued in August, but the good news is the trend line is still up,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a release. “While there is concern over economic growth, truck tonnage shows that it is unlikely that the economy is slipping into a recession. It is important to note that ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by contract freight, which is performing significantly better than the plunge in spot market freight this year.”
              Costello made similar remarks concerning the state of the spot market freight situation at ATA’s 2019 Economic Summit held in Washington on Sept. 23.
                Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3% of total revenue earned by all transport modes. — Transport Topics