Truck tonnage rises slightly in August, demand remains strong

by Today's Trucking

U.S. for-hire truck tonnage rose 0.5% in August, on the heels of a 1.1% decline in July, according to the latest data from the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

“August’s monthly gain, while small, was the first since March,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “It is important to remember that ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by for-hire contract freight, with a very limited amount of spot market freight. I continue to believe that tonnage has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels for two main reasons – broader supply chain issues, like semiconductor shortages, as well as industry specific difficulties, including the driver shortage and lack of equipment.

A chart showing truck tonnage

“Despite some supply chain issues, demand remains strong for trucking services generally. Truckload carriers are operating fewer trucks than a year earlier, which makes it difficult to increase freight volumes significantly,” he added.

The index was down 0.5% compared to August 2020, marking the second straight year-over-year drop. Year to date, tonnage is down 0.2% over the same eight months of 2020.

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  • The lack of equipment and drivers is because so many trucks have got scraped because of low rates and lack of drivers is problems of insurance for new drivers. We also need a system across the U S and Canada and Mexico that all truck drivers can go and get medical care with a single coverage system. To many truck drivers with health issues are afraid of getting sick on the road.