Shipping and Logistics

Storms Impact Truck Tonnage in September

Written by Tim Triplett


Truck tonnage declined in September, though it remains ahead of last year, reports the American Trucking Associations.

“Tonnage gave back some of the solid gain in August, but remains at very high levels despite the weather-related issues during the month,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Going forward, rebuilding from those hurricanes and other natural disasters like the wildfires in California will add to freight demand.”

ATA’s advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index slipped 0.9 percent in September, following a 4.7 percent gain in August. In September, the index equaled 144.4 (2000=100), down from 145.7 in August.

Compared with September 2016, the index was up 7.4 percent. Year-to-date, compared with the same nine months in 2016, the index is up 2.4 percent.

ATA’s unadjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 145.3 in September, which was 5 percent below the previous month (152.9).

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.6 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled nearly 10.5 billion tons of freight in 2016. Motor carriers collected $676.2 billion, or 79.8 percent of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

For a related story on the tightening truck capacity for steel shipments, click here.

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