While the American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased in September, it saw a dip compared to September 2019.
After a 5.3% drop in August, September’s index increased by 6.7% to 115.1, but it could not beat last year’s numbers, decreasing by 2.7%.
“September had a nice recovery after a significant decline in August,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “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.”
August’s decrease was revised up to -5.3% from ATA’s earlier estimates. The index’s 2.7% drop compared to last September is the sixth straight year-over-year decline. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2019, tonnage is down 3.3%.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 112.4 in September, 0.7% below the August level (113.2). 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.