The nation’s truck tonnage in September ticked up to its third highest level on record, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA)’s monthly survey of its membership, which largely measures contract freight markets as opposed to the more volatile spot market sector.
By the numbers, ATA’s advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.5% in September after rising 2.1% in August. The index equaled 118.8 in September compared to 118.2 in August, against a baseline value of 100 in 2015.
Compared with September 2021, the SA index increased 5.5%, which was the 13th straight year-over-year gain. In August, the index was up 6.7% from a year earlier. Year-to-date through September, tonnage was up 4% compared with the same period in 2021.
“The latest gain put tonnage at the highest level since August 2019 and the third highest level on record,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “This is another example of how the contract freight market remains strong despite weakness in the spot market this year. During the third quarter, tonnage increased 0.5% over the second quarter while increasing 5.6% over the same period in 2021. That was the largest quarterly year-over-year increase since the second quarter of 2018.”