October tonnage gains mirrored September

For-hire seasonally adjusted truck tonnage in October gained 0.3%, according to ATA

For-hire seasonally adjusted truck tonnage in October gained 0.3%, according to the American Trucking Assns. This marked the second consecutive month of increases, following a revised 0.3% boost in September.

The October 2005 data was 1.2% higher than for the same month last year, while year-to-date tonnage was 2% higher than the same period last year.

ATA chief economist Bob Costello said real tonnage gains were not fully captured in the index because of the tight capacity experienced by surveying carriers. “It is difficult to increase volumes when you have the same number of trucks as a year ago, if not less,” he said. “The driver shortage is keeping a lid on capacity, which makes it difficult for motor carriers to increase tonnage significantly.”

Costello added that the recent tonnage data reflects “a solid, steady economy.”

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