The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased for the first time in three months, falling 0.7 percent in June. June’s drop followed respective gains of 2.0 percent and 0.4 percent
in April and May.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the tonnage index fell to 112.3 (2000=100) from 113.1 in May. June’s tonnage index was 1.4 percent lower, compared with a year earlier. Year-to-date, the truck tonnage index was down 1.9 percent, compared with the same period in 2005. The not-seasonally adjusted index also contracted 0.7 percent from June to 119.1.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said tonnage volumes slipped slightly in June, corresponding with a deceleration in overall economic growth.
“The economy has slowed some from the first quarter of the year; however, there continues to be a favorable supply-demand market. Also, considering the solid growth in manufacturing production, especially in durable goods products, we expect to see a strong fall freight season.”
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy because it represents nearly 70 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods.
Trucks hauled 10.7 billion tons of freight in 2005. Motor carriers collected $623 billion dollars, or 84.3 percent of total revenue earned by all transport modes.
ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s.