Month-over-month, the index only edged up one-tenth of a percent, but that gain is still good, says ATA’s Chief Economist, Bob Costello, given May’s big jump from April. May’s index rose 2.3 percent from April and was up 6.5 percent form May of 2012.
The reading in June was up 5.9 percent from June of last year, and truck tonnage was up 4.7 percent year to date compared to last year, ATA says.
“The fact that tonnage didn’t fall back after the 2.1 percent surge in May is quite remarkable,” Costello said. “While housing starts were down in June, tonnage was buoyed by other areas like auto production which was very strong in June and durable-goods output, which increased 0.5 percent during the month according to the Federal Reserve.”
“Robust auto sales also helped push retail sales higher, helping tonnage in June,” he said.“The trend this year is heavy freight, like autos and energy production, is growing faster than lighter freight, which is pushing truck tonnage up.”