ATA freight index rises in August

Truck tonnage rose 2.9 percent in August, the ninth straight year-over-year increase, American Trucking Associations said Sept. 28.

But tonnage slipped 2.7 percent from July, the biggest month-to-month decline since March 2009, ATA said in its monthly seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index.

That drop lowered the seasonally adjusted index’s reading to 106.9, from 110 in July, with the year 2000 as a baseline reading of 100.

The month-to-month not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before adjustments, rose 3.2 percent to a reading of 113.5.

Year-to-date tonnage is 6.2 percent higher than the same period last year, ATA said.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello the data highlights that the economy, while still growing, is slowing.

“We fully anticipate sluggish economic growth for the remainder of this year and the latest tonnage numbers are reflecting that slowdown,” he said in a statement.

“While I’d much rather see better tonnage figures, motor carriers can now do better with small increases in demand since so much supply left the industry during the recession,” Costello added.

ATA calculates the tonnage each month based on reports by its member trucking companies.

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