Truck Tonnage Slips 1.4 Percent

Truck Tonnage Slips 1.4 Percent

Seasonally adjusted truck tonnage declined for the second consecutive month, supporting claims the economy is slowing, the American Trucking Associations said.

ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index dropped 1.4 percent in June, after falling 0.1 percent in May, the first consecutive contractions since March and April 2009.

Without the seasonal adjustment, actual tonnage hauled by truckers was up 6.5 percent in June from May. Year-to-date, tonnage is up 6.6 percent over 2009.

By the Numbers:
U.S. Truck Shipping Costs

Growth in truck tonnage is likely to moderate as the economy decelerates and year-over-year comparisons become harder, said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.

However, he said truck capacity has declined to the point that carriers will continue to make gains even with slower overall economic growth.

“Due to supply tightness in the market, any tonnage growth feels significantly better for fleets than one might expect,” Costello said.

--Contact William B. Cassidy at
wcassidy@joc.com.