ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index went up 5.7% in August, after a 2.1% decline in July. In August, the index equaled 141.8, up from 134.2 in July. The all-time high was 144 in February.
Compared y-o-y, the SA index rose 5.9%. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2015, tonnage was up 3.5%.
“Volatility continues to reign in 2016. This month’s tonnage reading highlights this fact and underscores the difficulty in determining any real or clear trend in truck tonnage,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “What is clear to me is that normal seasonal patterns are not holding in 2016.”
Costello also noted that during the month of August over the previous three years, the average change in not seasonally adjusted tonnage was just 0.3%. This August, tonnage surged 4.8%.
“Despite a difficult to read August, I expect the truck freight environment to be softer than normal as well as continued choppiness until the inventory correction is complete. With moderate economic growth forecasted, truck freight will improve as progress is made with the inventory overhang,” he said.