Photo: American Trucking Associations
Ata Tonnage August 22 632a74c7119e5

ATA: Truck tonnage 'snaps back' in August

Sept. 23, 2022
‘With the economy in transition to slower growth and changing consumer patterns, we may see more volatility in the months ahead. But the good news is that we continue to witness areas of freight growth,’ according to ATA’s chief economist.

American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 2.8% in August after decreasing 1.5% in July.

In August, the index equaled 119 (2015 equals 100) vs. 115.8 in July.

“Tonnage snapped back in August after a weaker-than-expected July,” said Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist. “With the economy in transition to slower growth and changing consumer patterns, we may see more volatility in the months ahead. But the good news is that we continue to witness areas of freight growth in consumer spending and manufacturing, which is helping to offset the weakness in new home construction.”

See also: Topsy-turvy times for used trucks

Compared to August 2021, the SA index increased 7.4%, which was the 12th straight year-over-year gain and the largest increase since June 2018, according to ATA. In July, the index was up 4.7% from a year earlier. Year-to-date through August, compared with the same period in 2021, tonnage was up 3.9%.

The not-seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 124.6 in August, 8.2% above the July level (115.1). 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.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 72.5% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.23 billion tons of freight in 2020. Motor carriers collected $732.3 billion, or 80.4% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s.

About the Author

FleetOwner Staff

Our Editorial Team

Kevin Jones, Editorial Director, Commercial Vehicle Group

Josh Fisher, Editor-in-Chief

Jade Brasher, Senior Editor

Jeremy Wolfe, Editor

Jenna Hume, Digital Editor

Eric Van Egeren, Art Director

Sponsored Recommendations

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...

80% Fewer Towable Accidents - 10 Key Strategies

After installing grille guards on all of their Class 8 trucks, a major Midwest fleet reported they had reduced their number of towable accidents by 80% post installation – including...

Proactive Fleet Safety: A Guide to Improved Efficiency and Profitability

Each year, carriers lose around 32.6 billion vehicle hours as a result of weather-related congestion. Discover how to shift from reactive to proactive, improve efficiency, and...

Tackling the Tech Shortage: Lessons in Recruiting Talent and Reducing Turnover

Discover innovative strategies for recruiting and retaining tech talent in the trucking industry at our April 16th webinar, where experts will share insights on competitive pay...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!