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US truck tonnage increases slightly in July

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Truck tonnage in the US showed a gain of 0.3% in July - the first month-to-month increase since M...


ARLINGTON, Va. — Truck tonnage in the US showed a gain of 0.3% in July – the first month-to-month increase since March.

The increase was reported by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), which tracks truck tonnage through member surveys. The truck tonnage rate is seasonally-adjusted.

Julys tonnage rate is the highest it has been since April, the ATA reports. Overall tonnage remains down 3.7% compared to a year ago and year-to-date, the tonnage index in the US was 2.6% below the same period of 2006.

ATAs chief economist, Bob Costello, said the latest stats reflect a continued softness in the trucking industry, specifically as it relates to the weight of goods shipped. He pointed out, however, that the number of for-hire loads transported is actually up 0.4% compared to the first half of 2006.

“The weakness in the residential construction market continues to have a disproportionately larger impact on truck tonnage than the number of loads transported,” Costello said. “Construction freight on average weighs more than general freight. As a result, the weakness in the construction market is having a bigger impact on truck tonnage.”

The ATA is predicting a modest 2007 fall freight season south of the border. Truck fleets will continue to be impacted by a trend by shippers to spread the peak season over a longer period and the housing market is expected to remain down. Most economists are also predicting only moderate economic growth in the near term, Costello pointed out.


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