ATA Truck Tonnage Index rose 1.5% in July

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Tonnage

The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.5 percent in July, although June’s reduction was revised from 1.4 percent to 1.6 percent. The latest improvement raised the SA index from 108.3 in June to 110 in July.

The nonseasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 109.9 in July, down 5 percent from the previous month. Compared with July 2009, SA tonnage climbed 7.4 percent, which matched June’s increase and was the eighth consecutive year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, tonnage is up 6.7 percent compared with the same period in 2009.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello says that July’s data didn’t change his outlook for subdued tonnage growth in the months ahead, “The economy is slowing, and truck freight tonnage has essentially gone sideways since April 2010,” says Costello, who nevertheless 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.”

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons and key financial indicators. The baseline year is 2000.