Truck tonnage continues climb

The For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index climbed again in August, reaching its highest point ever, according to the American Trucking Assns. (ATA). The Index jumped 1.6% in August, following a 1.5% gain in July. In August, the index equaled 132.6 (2000=100) versus 130.5 in July. The previous high month on record was November 2013 at 131.0. 

Compared with August 2013, the seasonally adjusted index increased 4.5%, up from July’s 3.7% year-over-year gain. The latest year-over-year increase was the largest this year. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage is up 3.1%.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 133.5 in August which was 0.1% below the previous month (133.6). 

“After a strong July, factory production and housing starts fell in August on a month-to-month basis,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Truck tonnage actually did the opposite. Not only did it increase, it accelerated.”

Costello stated that tonnage is up 3.1% over the last two months alone and has surged 6.8% since hitting a recent low in January.

“I’m optimistic about the second half of the year for the economy, which means truck tonnage should do well too,” he said.

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