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Truck tonnage rebounds in August after dip in July

The American Trucking Association tracks the For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index, which was seasonally adjusted (SA), to 2.8% in August after a decrease of 1.5% in July. According to CCJ Digital, “Tonnage snapped back in August after a weaker than expected July,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “With the economy in transition to slower growth and changing consumer patterns, we may see more volatility in the months ahead. But the good news is that we continue to witness areas of freight growth in consumer spending and manufacturing, which is helping to offset the weakness in new home construction.”

Compared to August of last year the SA index had its largest increase at 7.4%. The index was up 4.7% year over year in July. Tonnage was up 3.9% year-to-date through August compared to the same period in 2021. The index that was not SA, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets prior to any seasonal adjustment, was 124.6 in August, 8.2% higher than in July (115.1). “ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.”

Image Source: ATA

The ATA expressed that trucking is the barometer of the U.S. economy, accounting for 72.5% of all domestic freight transportation tonnage, including manufactured and retail goods.