ATA Truck Tonnage Index
dips slightly in May 2010
Jun 30, 2010 10:37 AM
The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 0.6 percent in May 2010, which was the first month-to-month drop since February of this year. This followed an upwardly revised 1% increase in April. The latest reduction put the SA index at 109.6 (2000=100).
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 108.3 in May, down 2.8% from the previous month.
Compared with May 2009, SA tonnage increased 7.2%, which was the sixth consecutive year-over-year gain. In April, the year-over-year increase was 9.5%. Year-to-date, tonnage is up 6.2% versus the same period in 2009.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said truck freight tonnage is going to have ups and downs, but the trend continues in the right direction.
“Despite the month-to-month drop in May, the trend line is still solid,” he said. “There is no way that freight can increase every month, and we should expect periodic decreases. This doesn’t take away from the fact that freight volumes are quite good, especially considering the reduction in truck supply over the last couple of years.”
Trucking serves as a barometer of the US economy, representing 68% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 8.8 billion tons of freight in 2009. Motor carriers collected $544.4 billion, or 81.9% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.
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