Indicators: Tonnage dipped slightly in August, still up year over year

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CCJ‘s Indicators rounds up the latest reports on trucking business indicators on rates, freight, equipment, the economy and more.

(Chart from ATA)(Chart from ATA)

The amount of freight moved by the for-hire trucking industry, as measured by the American Trucking Associations‘ monthly Truck Tonnage Index, slipped 1.8 percent in August, ATA reported Tuesday, effectively wiping out the 1.9 percent gain from the month prior.

Compared with August 2017, tonnage was up 4.5 percent. That’s down from July’s 8.6 percent year-over-year increase. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage is up 7.6 percent, far outpacing the annual gain of 3.8 percent in 2017 from 2016. ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said smaller year-over-year gains are to be expected the remainder of the year, as the recent surge in freight movement started last summer.

Truck freight remained solid in August despite the monthly decline,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “However, the year-over-year increase was the smallest since July 2017. The deceleration in the year-over-year increases has begun due to more difficult year-over-year comparisons. It was a year ago when freight began to surge. We should all expect smaller year-over-year gains going forward than we witnessed over the last year.”