September’s seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index increased nearly 7% in September after falling more than 5% in August, according to the latest data from the American Trucking Associations (ATA).
The association’s monthly index measures the change in tonnage hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment. The month-over-month increase was due to strength in retail and home construction, ATA said. Compared to September 2019 the index was down nearly 3%, its sixth straight year-over-year decline.
“September had a nice recovery after a significant decline in August,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a statement announcing the monthly data. “The truck freight market continues to be bifurcated, with strength in retail and home construction, but some continued weakness in industrial freight. During the third quarter, truck tonnage increased 2.4% over the second quarter, but fell 5.3% from a year earlier.”
In other transportation news, U.S. international air cargo fell 6% year-over-year in August while U.S.-Asia cargo rose 11%, according to monthly data from the Bureau of Transportation, published October 22. The preliminary data showed that airlines carried 5.9% less cargo by weight between the United States and foreign points in August 2020 than in August 2019, despite a 10.5% rise in cargo between the U.S. and Asia. The August decline was larger than the nearly 4% year-over-year drop recorded for July, the agency said.
Total air cargo to and from the U.S. in August was 703,000 tons, compared to 747,000 tons in 2019. The largest regional increase was with Asia, and the largest regional decrease was with Europe, which was down 26%.
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