The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 5.6% in August, a 1.4% drop from July.
“The August softness suggests that freight is very uneven in the trucking industry,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The trucking sectors that haul for the industrial and energy industries are not seeing the surge in freight like the consumer side of the economy. The industrial loads tend to be heavier, so they count more in a tonnage calculation than most consumer-related loads.”
Fleets that move goods for retailers are seeing solid freight volumes, according to Costello, while carriers that haul heavier industrial products saw lower volumes in August. July’s decrease was revised up to -1.4% from the ATA’s previous release.
Compared with August 2019, the SA index declined 8.9%, which makes it the fifth straight year-over-year decline. Tonnage is currently down 3.4% year-to-date compared with the same period in 2019.