The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 6.3% in October to 119.9 from September’s mark of 112.8. That marks a 9.5% year-over-year gain for the monthly measure.
“After slowing at the end of the third quarter, truck freight surged in October,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Last month’s strength was due, at least in part, to strong import numbers, especially on the West Coast. This is likely a pull ahead of imports as shippers try to take delivery of goods before January 1 when tariffs on a large list of goods [from] China increases from 10% to 25%.”
According to Costello, September’s change over the previous month was revised up to +0.1% (-0.8% was originally reported in ATA’s press release issued October 23).
Compared with October 2017, the SA index rose 9.5%, up from September’s 3.8% year-over-year increase. Year to date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage increased 7.3%.
ATA noted that the not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the surveyed fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 124.4 in October. That performance was 11.8% above the previous month’s (111.2). 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. The index is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued by the association around the 10th day of the month.