Refrigeratedtransporter 3435 Ata Tonnage Sept 2018

Truck tonnage index applies the brakes as Q3 comes to a close

Oct. 24, 2018
See how much truck freight slowed at the end of the third quarter, as shown by the ATA Tonnage Index for September.

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 0.8% in September 2018, sliding to 111.8 from August’s mark of 112.7.

“Truck freight slowed at the end of the third quarter,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “As anticipated, the year-over-year gains have slowed on strength a year earlier, but there is no doubt that freight softened in August and September. Despite the decreases late in the quarter, based on July’s strength, third quarter tonnage rose 0.1% from the second quarter and 5.2% from the same period in 2017.”

August’s change over the previous month was revised down to –2.0% (–1.8% was originally reported on September 18).

Compared with September 2017, the SA index rose 2.9%, down from August’s 4.2% year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, compared with the same period n 2017, tonnage increased 7.0%.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 110.2 in September, which was 8.2% below the previous month (120.1). In calculating the index, 100 represents the year 2015.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the US 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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