American Trucking Tonnage Up 7.9% Year-on-Year in First Half of 2018

Although June saw a slight fall in tonnage hauled, annual growth remains strong, indicating robust economic demand and a strongly growing logistics industry

American Trucking Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell 0.4% in June after rising 0.4% in May. However, year-to-date, compared with the first half of last year, tonnage increased 7.9%, far outpacing the annual gain of 3.8% in 2017 and in the second quarter rose 8.4%.

In June, the index equaled 113 (2015=100), down from 113.4 in May.

ATA revised the May increase from the originally reported 0.7% to 0.4%.  

Compared with June 2017, the SA index increased 7.8%, up from May's 7.4% year-over-year increase.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 116.3 in June, which was 1.1% below the previous month (117.6).

"In the second quarter, we saw the tonnage index jump 1.8% from the previous quarter and 8.4% from a year earlier," said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. "This robust growth fits with what is likely to be a very strong GDP reading for the second quarter. I expect the growth in tonnage to moderate, but remain at very high levels in the months ahead."

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.6% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled nearly 10.5 billion tons of freight in 2016. Motor carriers collected $676.2 billion, or 79.8% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 10th day of the month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons and key financial indicators.

The original article can be found here.

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