American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.7% in June after rising 0.3% in May. In June, the index equaled 120.1 versus 116.9 in May.
“June’s jump tells me a couple of things: first, the transition in the freight market from spot back to contract continues. ATA’s tonnage index is dominated by contract freight, so while the spot market has slowed as freight softens, contract carriers are backfilling those losses with loads from shippers reducing spot market exposure," said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. "Essentially, the market is transitioning back to pre-pandemic shares of contract versus spot market.
“Second, and perhaps equally important, while economic growth is expected to be soft overall in the second quarter, the goods-economy wasn’t as bad as feared," he said.
Compared with June 2021, the SA index increased 7.9%, which was the tenth straight year-over-year gain and the largest since June 2018. In May, the index was up 3.5% from a year earlier. During the third quarter, the index rose 1.1% from the previous quarter and 4.6% from the same quarter in 2021.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 124.5 in June, 4.2% above the May level (119.5). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.
ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s.