ARLINGTON, Va. — American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell 0.4 percent in June after rising 0.4 percent in May. In June, the index equaled 113 (2015=100), down from 113.4 in May.
ATA revised the May increase from the originally reported 0.7 percent to 0.4 percent.
Compared with June 2017, the SA index increased 7.8 percent, up from May’s 7.4 percent year-over-year increase. Year-to-date, compared with the first half of last year, tonnage increased 7.9 percent, far outpacing the annual gain of 3.8 percent in 2017.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 116.3 in June, which was 1.1 percent below the previous month (117.6).
“In the second quarter, we saw the tonnage index jump 1.8 percent from the previous quarter and 8.4 percent from a year earlier,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “This robust growth fits with what is likely to be a very strong GDP reading for the second quarter. I expect the growth in tonnage to moderate, but remain at very high levels in the months ahead.”
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.6 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled nearly 10.5 billion tons of freight in 2016. Motor carriers collected $676.2 billion, or 79.8 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 trucking trade association, with a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils.