US truck tonnage up in September, but still lags 2006

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ARLINGTON, Va. — Truck tonnage in the US was up 1.5% in September, but down 2.3% compared to a year earlier.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) truck tonnage index is based on member fleet surveys. The September blip followed a 0.8% drop in August. Year-to-date, truck tonnage is 2.2% lower than the same time last year.

ATA chief economist Bob Costello said the latest figures show a continued softness in the US trucking industry, despite the fact the 1.5% gain was the largest monthly increase since February.

“Nearly all economic indicators suggest continued sluggishness for the trucking industry in the near term,” Costello said. September’s reading points to a lackluster 2007 fall freight season, which traditionally starts in mid- to late August and peaks in October. “We are sticking with our economic forecasts that point to below trend growth for the overall economy and truck tonnage.”

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