American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 6.7% in September after declining 5.3% in August. In September, the index equaled 115.1 compared with 107.9 in August.
“September had a nice recovery after a significant decline in August,” said Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist. “The truck freight market continues to be bifurcated, with strength in retail and home construction, but some continued weakness in industrial freight.”
Compared with September 2019, the SA index contracted 2.7%, the sixth straight y/y decline. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2019, tonnage is down 3.3%.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 112.4 in September, 0.7% below the August level (113.2). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.
“During the third quarter, truck tonnage increased 2.4% over the second quarter, but fell 5.3% from a year earlier,” Costello added.