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ATA Truck Tonnage index rose 0.2% in September

Oct. 24, 2019
Index 3.5% higher than September 2018.

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.2% in Sept. after falling 4% in August. In Sept., the index equaled 117.6 (2015=100) compared with 117.3 in August.

“This was the first month in 2019 that we did not see a significant increase or decrease in tonnage,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “For the entire third quarter, the index was up 1.2% over the previous quarter and 4.5% from a year earlier, both are nice gains.” 

It is important to note that ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by contract freight, which is performing significantly better than the plunge in spot market freight this year.

August’s reading was revised down compared with the Sept. press release.

Compared with Sept. 2018, the SA index increased 3.5%. The index is up 4.1% year-to-date compared with the same period last year. 

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 114.8 in Aug., 7.5% below the Aug. level (124). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3% of total revenue earned by all transport modes. 

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