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ATA: Truck tonnage dips in July

Aug. 26, 2022
Association’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index registers a 1.1% decrease after a slight increase in June, but remains up by 5.1% compared to July 2021.

Truck tonnage dipped in July, according to the American Trucking Associations.

ATA’s advanced, seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index showed a 1.1% decrease last month after rising 0.5% in June, the association reported.

“Tonnage declined sequentially in July for only the second time during the last 12 months,” said Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist. “While tonnage is much stronger than a year ago, the monthly gains have moderated as the year has gone on. The combination of softer consumption of goods, home construction falling, and slower manufacturing activity are the main reasons.”

June’s increase was revised down from ATA’s July 19 news release.

Compared with July 2021, the SA index increased 5.1%, which was the 11th straight year-over-year gain. In June, the index was up 5.6% from a year earlier. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2021, tonnage was up 3.4%.

The not-seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 115.5 in July, 5.2% below the June level (121.9), ATA said. 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, and 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. 

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