Truck Tonnage Index Increases for 8th Month
ARLINGTON, VA — "The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.5% in July, although June’s reduction was revised from 1.4% to 1.6%. The latest improvement raised the SA index from 108.3 (2000=100) in June to 110 in July. Compared with July 2009, SA tonnage climbed 7.4%, which matched June’s increase and was the eighth consecutive year-over-year gain (see chart above). Year-to-date, tonnage is up 6.7% compared with the same period in 2009.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said that July’s data didn’t change his outlook for subdued tonnage growth in the months ahead, stating, “The economy is slowing and truck freight tonnage has essentially gone sideways since April 2010.” Nevertheless, Costello believes that tonnage will post moderate gains, on average, for the second half of the year. “After accounting for the reduction in supply over the last few years, even small gains in tonnage will have a larger impact on the industry than in past.”
MP: Compared to last year, the July index this year is up by 7.4% but down by 5.3% compared to the index level of 116.2 in July 2008. However, in July 2007 before the recession officially started, the ATA's Truck Tonnage Index was just slightly higher, at 110.9, than the index reading last month.