ATA truck tonnage index falls in July
The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index decreased 0.3 percent in July, marking the first month-to-month drop since April.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said July’s tonnage reading matched several anecdotal reports from motor carriers that freight was softer in July than the previous month. Costello cautioned that truck tonnage could be volatile in coming months because the economy is expected to further soften before improving. However, slight declines in fuel prices and tightening capacity could help offset softer freight volumes.
The trade association said the seasonally adjusted tonnage index equaled 116.2 and was 4.4 percent higher compared with July 2007.
ATA said its tonnage indexes account for motor carriers exiting the industry and therefore, the recent jump in bankruptcies will only have a limited impact on its tonnage readings.
ATA said trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing nearly 70 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods.