Tonnage index hits new high: ATA

Truck News

ARLINGTON, Va. – American truck tonnage figures were exceptionally strong last month.

The American Trucking Associations said its seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 1.6% in August, coming in at 132.6, which is the highest index on record. The previous high mark of 131.0 was recorded in November 2013.

The August numbers followed strong results in July, which recorded a 1.5% gain—a figure that represents a 3.7% year-over-year increase from July 2013. While that was a very positive result, the August 2013 to August 2014 year-over-year increase surpassed it at 4.5%. Additionally, the year-to-date comparison between 2013 and 2014 shows tonnage is up 3.1% this year.

When looking at non-seasonally adjusted figures, which represent the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets, there is evidence of a slight (0.1%) decline from the previous month. July’s figure was 133.6. August’s was 133.5.

“After a strong July, factory production and housing starts fell in August on a month-to-month basis,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “Truck tonnage actually did the opposite. Not only did it increase, it accelerated.”

Costello stated that tonnage is up 3.1% over the last two months alone and has surged 6.8% since hitting a recent low in January.

“I’m optimistic about the second half of the year for the economy, which means truck tonnage should do well too,” he said.

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