Truck tonnage down in June: ATA

The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.1 per cent in June after falling four per cent in May.

The index in June was 115.2 (2015=100) compared with 116.5 in May.

“Tonnage continues to show resilience as it posted the twenty-sixth year-over-year increase despite falling for the second straight month sequentially,” said ATA Chief Economist, Bob Costello. “The year-over-year gain was the smallest over the past two years, but the level of freight remains quite high. Tonnage is outperforming other trucking metrics as heavy freight sectors, like tank truck, are witnessing better freight levels than sectors like dry van, which has a lower average weight per load.”

May’s reading was revised up compared with ATA’s June release.

Compared with June 2018, the seasonally adjusted index increased 1.5 per cent, the smallest year-over-year gain since April 2017.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 117.6 in June, 3.3 per cent below May level (121.7). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

Trucking is reported to serve as a barometer of the US economy, representing 70.2 per cent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tonnes of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion USD (€628.3 billion), or 79.3 per cent of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the fifth day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons and key financial indicators.

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