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ATA Truck Tonnage Index decreases 0.8% in June

Compared with June 2013, the SA index increased 2.3 percent, down from May’s 3.3 percent year-over-year gain.

The Trucker News Services

7/22/2014

ARLINGTON, Va. — American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index declined 0.8 percent in June, following a revised 0.9 percent gain the previous month. In June, the index equaled 128.6 (2000=100) versus 129.6 in May. The index is off 1.9 percent from the all-time high in November 2013 (131.0).

Compared with June 2013, the SA index increased 2.3 percent, down from May’s 3.3 percent year-over-year gain. This year-over-year increase was the second smallest in 2014, following a 1 percent gain in January. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage is up 2.8 percent.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 132.3 in June which was 0.5 percent below the previous month (132.9).

“June was one of those months where the data doesn’t quite match up with the anecdotal reports from fleets,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “We had heard the freight volumes were good.”

Costello added that tonnage had increased for four consecutive months prior to June totaling 4.4 percent.

“Despite the small reprieve in June, the second quarter was much better than the first quarter,” he said. “Tonnage increased 2.3 percent from the first quarter, which was the largest quarter to quarter gain since the first quarter in 2013. Compared with the second quarter in 2013, tonnage increased 3.2 percent, a percentage point better than the first quarter year-over-year increase.” 

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 69.1 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 9.7 billion tons of freight in 2013. Motor carriers collected $681.7 billion, or 81.2 percent of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 10th day of the month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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