Tonnage up in May, ATA says

The American Trucking Assns.’ seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index increased 0.5% on a month-to-month basis in May. This marks the first increase in the index since January and the seventh consecutive year-over-year increase

The American Trucking Assns.’ seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index increased 0.5% on a month-to-month basis in May. This marks the first increase in the index since January and the seventh consecutive year-over-year increase.

“The fact that tonnage increased on a month-to-month basis for the first time in four months, as well as achieving its largest year-over-year gain since February of this year, is quite positive,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “However, year-over-year comparisons continue to reflect the weakness of 2007 rather than robust growth in 2008.”

“Rising fuel prices are a double-edged sword for the industry,” Costello added. “Since trucks haul virtually all consumer goods at some point in the supply chain, the industry is significantly impacted both directly through high diesel prices and indirectly as consumers have less money to spend on truck-transported goods.”

ATA also announced that April’s tonnage index was slightly better than previously reported, falling 0.6% instead of the 1.1% originally announced.

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