Trucks handled more freight in October, as rising manufacturing output helped increase for-hire truck tonnage 0.5 percent from the previous month and 5.7 percent from a year ago, the American Trucking Associations said Tuesday.
The trucking industry is outpacing the general economy, largely thanks to the strength of U.S. manufacturing. Despite economic uncertainty, the ATA For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is only 4.4 percent below its record in January 2005.
The rate of tonnage growth slowed slightly in October. In September, ATA’s truck tonnage index rose 1.5 percent from August and 5.8 percent year over year. The ATA figures for September were revised slightly in the latest report.
“Tonnage readings continue to show that economy is growing and not sliding back into recession,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Over the last two months, tonnage is up nearly 2 percent and is just shy of the recent high in January (2011).”
He expects trucking to grow faster than the general economy next, albeit at a slow pace overall. “The industrial sector should slow next year, but still grow more than GDP, which means truck tonnage can increase faster than GDP too,” Costello said.