ATA Truck Tonnage Index surged 6.6% in July
Index 7.3% higher than July 2018
Compared with July 2018, the American Trucking Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index surged 7.3%, the largest year-over-year gain since April.
The SA index increased 6.6% in July after falling 1.2% in June. In July, the index equaled 122.7 (2015=100) compared with 115.1 in June.
June's reading was revised down compared with July estimates.
"Tonnage in 2019 has been on a rollercoaster ride, plagued with large monthly swings, which continued in July as tonnage surged after falling significantly in May and June," said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. "However, take out the month-to-month noise, and you see that truck tonnage is still on a nice upward path. It is important to note that ATA's tonnage data is dominated by contract freight, which is performing significantly better than the plunge in spot market freight this year."
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 122.8 in July, 4.5% above June level (117.5). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.
ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership.