INDUSTRY PULSE: ATA truck tonnage index hits record high in January

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire Truck Tonnage Index surged 3.4 percent to 116.5 (2000=100) in January, said the ATA, the largest month-to-month gain in several years. This improvement followed a revised 1.0 percent decrease in December. Compared to January 2004, the index was 6.4 percent higher.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the tonnage index fell 2.4 percent from December to January.

“January proved to be a strong month for truck tonnage,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Growing manufacturing production continues to be the driver of truck freight. And, we have seen big gains in heavy commodity movements, like steel, which is another reason why tonnage is growing at a solid pace,” he said.

Trucks hauled 9.1 billion tons of freight in 2003, or 68.9 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation. Motor carriers collected $610 billion dollars, or 86.9 percent of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

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