Tuesday, April 24, 2018

ATA Truck Tonnage Index jumps 1.9% in October; posts 2% gain over ’14


Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 68.8 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. (The Trucker file photo)
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 68.8 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. (The Trucker file photo)

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.9 percent in October, following a decrease of 0.7 percent during September.

The September figure was revised down from our press release on October 20. In October, the index equaled 135.7 (2000=100), up from 133.1 in September, and just below the all-time high of 135.8 reached in January 2015.

Compared with October 2014, the SA index increased 2 percent, which was above the year-over-year increase of 1.6 percent in September. However, October’s year-over-year gain was well below the year-to-date figure through October, compared with the same period last year (3 percent).

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 139.8 in October, which was 2.1 percent above the previous month (136.9).

“It was good to see tonnage increase nicely in October after contracting a total of 1.6 percent in August and September” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “However, tonnage has been overall pretty flat this year, as October’s reading is just shy of January’s level.

“Like I’ve said over the last couple of months, I remain concerned about the high level of inventories throughout the supply chain. We recently learned that inventories throughout the supply chain and relative to sales rose in September, which is not a good sign. This will have a negative impact on truck freight volumes over the next few months,” he said.

Watch this video https://youtu.be/QB8YyImwl-g to hear Costello expand on this month’s tonnage report.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 68.8 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled just under 10 billion tons of freight in 2014. Motor carriers collected $700.4 billion, or 80.3 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.

ATA is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils.

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

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