American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index was unchanged in September 2014 after a gain of 1.6% the previous month. In September, the index equaled 132.6 (2000=100), the same as in August 2014 and a record high.
Compared with September 2013, the SA index increased 3.7%, down from August’s 4.5% year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, versus the same period in 2013, tonnage is up 3.2%.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 135.8 in September 2014, which was 1.7% above the previous month (133.5).
“September data was a mixed bag, with retail sales falling while factory output increased nicely,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “As a result, I’m not too surprised that truck tonnage split both of those readings and remained unchanged.”
“During the third quarter, truck tonnage jumped 2.4% from the second quarter and surged 4% from the same period last year,” he said. Costello also noted that the third quarter average was the highest on record.
Trucking serves as a barometer of the US economy, representing 69.1% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 9.7 billion tons of freight in 2013. Motor carriers collected $681.7 billion, or 81.2% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.