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INDUSTRY PULSE: ATA truck tonnage index slides 1.3 % in August

ALEXANDRIA, VA. -- The American Trucking Associations' (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted Truck Tonnage Index fell...

ALEXANDRIA, VA. — The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted Truck Tonnage Index fell 1.3 % to 157.9 (1993=100) in August, said the US association for the trucking industry.

This was the second consecutive decrease and followed a revised 0.5 % drop in July. The index has declined in three of the last four months.

Compared to August 2003, the unadjusted index surged 10.0 %. Year-to-date, compared to the same period in 2003, truck tonnage is up a very robust 7.2 %.

“Truck tonnage data for July and August, on a month-to-month basis, show an economy that took a summer breather, especially in retail sales,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “However, on a year-over-year basis, we see an underlying growth trend whereby truck tonnage not only remained strong in August, but picked up steam. There are plenty of reasons to remain bullish on truck freight volumes considering the strength in the manufacturing sector,” he said.

Trucks hauled 9.0 billion tons of freight in 2003, or 68.9 % of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation. Motor carriers collected $610 billion dollars, or 86.9 % of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the seventh day of every month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States

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