Freight tonnage hauled in the trucking sector rose 6.6 percent in July after falling 1.2 percent in June, continuing a "rollercoaster ride" of monthly swings that average out to a steady rise through 2019, a trucking trade association said today.
The American Trucking Associations (ATA)'s advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index reached 122.7 in July, compared with 115.1 in June. The index uses 2015 as a base year, setting that volume as a benchmark level of 100.
ATA says the measure is significant because trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods,
On a year-over-year basis, July's index number surged 7.3 percent compared with July 2018, representing its largest year-over-year gain since April. And the not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 122.8 in July, 4.5 percent above the June level (117.5), ATA said.
"Tonnage in 2019 has been on a rollercoaster ride, plagued with large monthly swings, which continued in July as tonnage surged after falling significantly in May and June," ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a release. "However, take out the month-to-month noise, and you see that truck tonnage is still on a nice upward path. It is important to note that ATA's tonnage data is dominated by contract freight, which is performing significantly better than the plunge in spot market freight this year."
"Tonnage in 2019 has been on a rollercoaster ride...however, take out the month-to-month noise, and you see that truck tonnage is still on a nice upward path." - @ATAEconBob— American Trucking (@TRUCKINGdotORG) August 20, 2019