ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 0.9 percent in September, sliding to 111.8 from August’s mark of 112.7.
“Truck freight slowed at the end of the third quarter,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “As anticipated, the year-over-year gains have slowed on strength a year earlier, but there is no doubt that freight softened in August and September. Despite the decreases late in the quarter, based on July’s strength, third-quarter tonnage rose 0.1% from the second quarter and 5.2 percent from the same period in 2017.”
August’s change over the previous month was revised down to -2.0 percent (-1.8 percent was originally reported in our press release on September 18).
Compared with September 2017, the SA index rose 2.9 percent, down from August’s 4.2 percent year-over-year increase. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage increased 7.0 percent.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 110.2 in September, which was 8.2 percent below the previous month (120.1). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3 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.
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