WASHINGTON — The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.1% in October after declining 1.1% in September.
In October, the index equaled 115.2 (2015=100) compared with 113.9 in September, according to an ATA news release.
“After hitting a floor in April, tonnage has slowly and inconsistently improved, but remains 3% below its recent peak in September 2022,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Despite the monthly gain, truck freight remains soft as it continues to contract on a year-over-year basis. It is important to remember that our for-hire truck freight index, which includes both truckload and LTL freight, is dominated by contract freight with minimal amounts of spot market loads. The traditional spot market remains much weaker than contract tonnage.”
Compared with October 2022, the SA index fell 2.1%, which was the eighth straight year-over-year decrease. In September, the index was down 4.1% from a year earlier.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 119.7 in October, 6.3% above the September level (112.5). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 72.6% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 11.46 billion tons of freight in 2022. Motor carriers collected $940.8 billion, or 80.7% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.
Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and raised in East Texas, John Worthen returned to his home state to attend college in 1998 and decided to make his life in The Natural State. Worthen is a 20-year veteran of the journalism industry and has covered just about every topic there is. He has a passion for writing and telling stories. He has worked as a beat reporter and bureau chief for a statewide newspaper and as managing editor of a regional newspaper in Arkansas. Additionally, Worthen has been a prolific freelance journalist for two decades, and has been published in several travel magazines and on travel websites.