September TonnageHolds at Record, Rises 3.7% Year-Over-Year

Truck tonnage held at an all-time high in September, rising 3.7% from a year ago and capping the highest quarter on record, American Trucking Associations reported.

ATA’s advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire index held at 132.6, matching August, which had posted a 4.5% year-over-year gain. The trucking group uses the year 2000 as a 100-reading baseline.

Third-quarter tonnage “jumped 2.4% from the second quarter and surged 4% from the same period last year” in posting the highest quarterly average ever, ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said.

“September [economic] data was a mixed bag, with retail sales falling while factory output increased nicely,” Costello said. “As a result, I’m not too surprised that truck tonnage split both of those readings and [was] unchanged.”

Tonnage is up 3.2% year to date compared with a year ago, up slightly from the comparable 3.1% figure through August.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents tonnage actually hauled by fleets before seasonal adjustments, was 135.8, up 1.7% from August.

ATA calculates the tonnage each month based on reports by its member trucking companies.

Transport Topics 10/21/14