ARLINGTON, Va. -- For-hire truck tonnage in the US rose 0.4% in September, coming on the heels of a 0.9% loss in August, according to the latest data from the American Trucking Associations.
September tonnage levels were equal to January 2012, showing a flat trend line over the past nine months. Compared to September 2011, tonnage was up 2.4%, marking the smallest year-over-year increase since December 2009.
Year-to-date, tonnage is up 3.6%, the ATA reported.
“The year-over-year deceleration in tonnage continued during September, although I was encouraged that the seasonally adjusted index edged higher from August,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. He added that the acceleration in housing starts, which is helping truck tonnage, is being countered by a flattening in manufacturing output and elevated inventories throughout the supply chain.
“Expect year-over-year comparisons to continue shrinking through the rest of the year as tonnage grew nicely during the last three months of 2011,” he said. As a result, tonnage is expected to increase less than 3.5% in 2012.