ATA tonnage index falls in July

The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.3 percent in July from June after rising a revised 2.6 percent in June over May.

The July index was 3.9 percent higher than a year earlier, ATA reported.

June’s increase was slightly less than the 2.8 percent ATA previously reported. The latest pullback put the adjusted index at 114 in July, down from the June level of 115.5. Tonnage has fallen in three of the last four months over the preceding month.

The nonseasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 111 in July, which was 9 percent below the previous month. Compared with July 2010, adjusted tonnage was up 3.9 percent. In June, the tonnage index was 6.5 percent above a year earlier.

“We had heard that freight weakened from a robust June,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “Despite a solid June, our truck tonnage index fits with an economy that is growing very slowly. The good news is that tonnage continues to increase on a year-over-year basis, but it is likely that the rate of growth will moderate in the second half of the year.”