Truck tonnage slipped 0.6 percent in May, putting a brake on shipping growth after trucking demand reached its highest level of the recovery the month before, the American Trucking Associations said Friday.
The ATA’s seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index was also up 7.2 percent compared to May 2009, the sixth straight year-over-year gain. But the increase also was below the revised 9.5 percent expansion in April.
Without the seasonal adjustment, the ATA measure of truck tonnage fell 2.8 percent from April to May, the latest in a series of freight shipping measures that suggest rapid expansion this spring has been cooling off.
“Despite the month-to-month drop in May, the trend line is still solid,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “There is no way freight can increase every month, and we should expect period 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.”