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US Truck Tonnage Dips Slightly In October

ARLINGTON, Va. - US truck tonnage took another slight dip in October, according to the latest American Trucking Associations (ATA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index. The latest figures showed a decline of ...


ARLINGTON, Va. –US truck tonnage took another slight dip in October, according to the latest American Trucking Associations (ATA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index. The latest figures showed a decline of 0.2% in October, on the heels of a 0.3% drop in September.

Compared to October 2008, tonnage was down 5.2%, the best year-over-year showing since November 2008, ATA reported. In September, truck tonnage was 7.3% off last September’s pace.

“Repeating what I said last month, the trucking industry should not be alarmed by the small decreases in September and October,” ATA chief economist Bob Costello said. “The economy is behaving as expected, with starts and stops. This is being reflected in truck tonnage, as well as most economic indicators.”

Costello predicted further ups and downs in the months ahead. “Since consumer spending and manufacturing are not surging, trucking shouldn’t expect robust growth either,” Costello said. “However, both retail sales and manufacturing output are exhibiting mild upward trend lines, which is the path I expect truck freight to take.”

Another indicator, meanwhile, suggested trucking conditions in the US are improving, but still remain below ‘neutral.’ The latest Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) by FTR Associates provides a monthly index of overall industry health based on five key trucking industry statistics. A neutral reading is zero. In October, the FTR index read -16.4, marking the highest reading since November 2008 and the third consecutive month of gains, however still anchored in negative territory.


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