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Freight softened in August and September, according to the American Trucking Associations' monthly Truck Tonnage Index, but tonnage was still up for the third quarter.

ATA's seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 0.8% in September, sliding to 111.8 from August’s mark of 112.7.

“Truck freight slowed at the end of the third quarter,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “As anticipated, the year-over-year gains have slowed on strength a year earlier, but there is no doubt that freight softened in August and September. Despite the decreases late in the quarter, based on July’s strength, third quarter tonnage rose 0.1% from the second quarter and 5.2% from the same period in 2017.”

August’s change over the previous month was revised down to -2.0% (-1.8% was originally reported in an ATA press release on Sept. 18).

Compared with September 2017, the SA index rose 2.9%, down from August’s 4.2% year-over-year increase. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage increased 7.0%.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 110.2 in September, which was 8.2% below the previous month (120.1). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

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