Truck tonnage rises in May over year

Truck tonnage rose 7.2 percent in May from a year earlier, but tonnage dipped 0.6 percent from April, the American Trucking Associations said June 25.

May’s year-over-year increase was the sixth consecutive annual gain, ATA said in its monthly seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index.

The year-to-year gain followed a 9.5 percent rise in April that was the biggest increase in more than five years.

May’s not seasonally adjusted index — the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment — was down 2.8 percent from April.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said tonnage will fluctuate, but the trend is moving upward.

“Despite the month-to-month drop in May, the trend line is still solid,” he said in a statement. “There is no way that freight can increase every month, and we should expect periodic decreases. 

“This doesn’t take away from the fact that freight volumes are quite good, especially considering the reduction in truck supply over the last couple of years,” he said.

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

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