ATA Truck Tonnage Index decreases in May 2012

June 20, 2012
The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index declined 0.7% in May 2012 after falling 1.1% in April.

The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index declined 0.7% in May 2012 after falling 1.1% in April. (April’s loss was the same as ATA reported May 22.)

This latest drop lowered the SA index to 117.8 (2000=100), down from April’s level of 118.7. Compared with May 2011, the SA index was 4.1% higher, the largest year-over-year increase since February 2012. Year-to-date, versus the same period in 2011, tonnage was up 3.8%.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 124.5 in May, which was 6.5% above the previous month.

“Two straight months of contractions is disappointing,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “The drops in tonnage are reflective of the broader economy, which has slowed. The good news is that the decrease in fuel prices will help support retail sales going forward, which is a big part of truck tonnage.”

Costello said he’s concerned about businesses sitting on cash instead of hiring more workers or spending it on capital, both of which would give the economy and tonnage a shot in the arm, as they are worried about Europe and the so-called US fiscal cliff at the end of the year. He also reiterated hs comment in May: “Annualized tonnage growth should be in the 3% to 3.9% range this year.”

Trucking serves as a barometer of the US economy, representing 67.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 9 billion tons of freight in 2010. Motor carriers collected $563.4 billion, or 81.2% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

Voice your opinion!

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

Sponsored Recommendations

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...

Fleet Industry Benchmarks: How does your fleet stack up?

Discover how your fleet compares to industry benchmarks and gain insights from a 2024 Benchmarking Report on maintenance spend, turnaround time, and more. Join us to identify ...

Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees and Risks

Fleets looking to effectively manage their operational costs should consider their tolling costs. Download the PrePass whitepaper, “Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees...

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...