August truck tonnage jumped 4.5% year-over-year to a record high, American Trucking Associations reported Sept. 23.
ATA’s advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire index rose to 132.6 — up 1.6% from July and topping the previous record of 131 set in November. ATA uses the year 2000 as a 100-reading baseline.
The year-over-year jump, the highest so far in 2014, followed a 3.7% July gain that originally was reported as a 3.6% increase.
“After a strong July, factory production and housing starts fell in August on a month-to-month basis,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “Truck tonnage actually did the opposite. Not only did it increase, it accelerated.”
Tonnage is up 3.1% in the past two months and has surged 6.8% since falling to a recent low in January, Costello said.
“I’m optimistic about the second half of the year for the economy, which means truck tonnage should do well too,” he added.
Year-to-date tonnage is up 3.1% from the comparable 2.9% figure through July.
ATA calculates the tonnage each month based on reports by its member trucking companies.
Transport Topics 9/26/14