US truck tonnage drops sharply in August

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ARLINGTON, Va. — US truck tonnage has suffered this summer, with the sharpest decline since March recorded in August.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) truck tonnage index showed a 1.6% month-to-month drop in August. It also adjusted its July figures to show a 0.9% drop, a sharper decline than the originally-reported 0.3%.

The August results are the lowest seasonally-adjusted results since November, 2007, ATA reports. However, the index was still 2.6% higher in August than August, 2007, which marks 10 consecutive year-over-year gains. Year-to-date, US truck tonnage is up 3.4% over last year.

“We are forecasting a mild recession later this year and early next year,” ATA chief economist Bob Costello noted. “Make no mistake about it, freight volumes are weakening.”

He added the year-over-year growth is more an indication of the softness of 2007 than a strong 2008.

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