Truck tonnage climbed in September as trucks packed on more freight

by Today's Trucking

U.S. for-hire truck tonnage spiked 2.4% in September, marking the highest sequential gain of 2021, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

“It is good that tonnage rose in September, but it is important to note that this is happening because each truck is hauling more, not from an increase in the amount of equipment operated as contract carriers in the for-hire truckload market continue to shrink from the lack of new trucks and drivers,” said Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist.

“The drivers of truck freight, including retail, construction, and manufacturing, plus a surge in imports, are helping keep demand high for trucking services.” The truck tonnage index was up 1.7% year over year, marking the first y-o-y gain since May. Tonnage is flat year-to-date compared to the same nine months in 2020.

Chart showing truck tonnage

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