Truck tonnage takes another hit south of the border

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 3.0 percent in October, marking the fourth consecutive month-to-month drop.

The index fell 0.8 percent in September and 1.9 percent in August. In October, the seasonally adjusted tonnage index hit its lowest level since October 2003.

Bob Costello, ATA chief economist, said truck tonnage is down a total of 6.3 percent over the last four months and highlights how bad the U.S. economy is currently. October is typically a busy month for motor carriers as retailers begin to take delivery of products for the holiday season.

“October should be the busiest month of the year, but instead this October was a fizzle,” said Costello. “The latest truck tonnage drop suggests that retailers are very pessimistic for the holiday sales season.”

Costello noted there has been a leveling off of the traditional fall freight season for trucking companies in recent years, where more freight is delivered in November and December, but this October was particularly weak due to the economic recession.

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