ATA Truck Tonnage Index rises in October 2010

Nov. 24, 2010
The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.8% in October 2010 after increasing a revised 1.8% in September.

The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.8% in October 2010 after increasing a revised 1.8% in September. The latest gain put the SA index at 109.7 (2000=100) in October from 108.9 in September.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 112.9 in October, up 0.3% from the previous month.

Compared with October 2009, SA tonnage climbed 6.0%, which was better than September’s 5.3% year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, tonnage is up 6.1% versus the same period in 2009.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said truck tonnage changes over the past couple months shows there are some bright spots in the US economy.

“October tonnage levels were at the highest level in three months, even after accounting for typical seasonal shipping patterns,” he said. “These gains fit with reports out of both the manufacturing and retail sectors and show there is a little bit of life in this economic recovery.”

Trucking serves as a barometer of the US economy, representing 68% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 8.8 billion tons of freight in 2009. Motor carriers collected $544.4 billion, or 81.9% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

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