US truck tonnage up slightly in October; Solid fall freight season projected

ARLINGTON, Va. — US for-hire truck tonnage inched up 0.5% in October, on the heels of a revised decline of 0.8% in September, according to the latest American Trucking Associations Truck Tonnage Index.

October’s reading is the second highest level on record since August 2014.

The seasonally-adjusted index is up 4.5% compared to October 2013, which is up more substantially than September’s 2.9% year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, US truck tonnage is up 3.2% compared to 2013.

“Tonnage made a nice comeback after declining in September,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “The gain fits with the increases in retail sales and factory output during October, as well as with good anecdotal reports about the fall freight season.”
He added: “The solid month-to-month gain, coupled with the acceleration in the year-over-year growth rate, is a good sign for the fourth quarter. In addition, I’m expecting a solid fall freight season as holiday sales are forecasted to see the largest increase since 2011.”

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