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Heavyweight freight pushes US truck tonnage higher

ARLINGTON, Va. -- US for-hire truck tonnage nudged up 0.1% in June, on the heels of a 2.1% increase in May, according to the latest data from the American Trucking Associations (ATA).


ARLINGTON, Va. — US for-hire truck tonnage nudged up 0.1% in June, on the heels of a 2.1% increase in May, according to the latest data from the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

May’s gain was revised down from the initially reported 2.3% gain. June’s seasonally adjusted truck tonnage is the highest level on record.

The seasonally adjusted tonnage index was up 5.9% compared to June 2012, ATA reported. It characterized the latest data as “robust, although below May’s 6.5% year-over-year gain.”

Year-to-date, tonnage is up 4.7%.

“The fact that tonnage didn’t fall back after the 2.1% surge in May is quite remarkable,” ATA chief economist Bob Costello said. “While housing starts were down in June, tonnage was buoyed by other areas like auto production which was very strong in June and durable-goods output, which increased 0.5% during the month according to the Federal Reserve.”

He added: “Robust auto sales also helped push retail sales higher, helping tonnage in June. The trend this year is heavy freight, like autos and energy production, is growing faster than lighter freight, which is pushing truck tonnage up.”


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