Freight tonnage rises in October

Following a revised decline in September, freight tonnage rose slightly in October, according to the American Trucking Assns.’ (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index. The Index climbed 0.5% in October, following a 0.8% decline the previous month.

In October, the index equaled 132.1 (2000=100), which was the second highest level on record after August, ATA said. Compared with October 2013, the SA index increased 4.5%, up from September’s 2.9% year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage is up 3.2%.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 140.4 in September which was 4.3% above the previous month (134.6).

“Tonnage made a nice comeback after declining in September,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “The gain fits with the increases in retail sales and factory output during October, as well as with good anecdotal reports about the fall freight season.”

“The solid month-to-month gain, coupled with the acceleration in the year-over-year growth rate, is a good sign for the fourth quarter,” Costello said. “In addition, I’m expecting a solid fall freight season as holiday sales are forecasted to see the largest increase since 2011.”

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