ATA tonnage index gains in Sept.

The American Trucking Associations announced Oct. 26 its advance seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.7 percent in September after falling a revised 2.8 percent in August.

The nonadjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, was down 0.9 percent from the previous month.

Compared with September 2009, adjusted tonnage climbed 5.1 percent, which was well above August’s 2.9 percent year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, tonnage is up 6.1 percent compared with the same period in 2009.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said truck tonnage over the last few months reflects an economy that is growing very slowly.

“While I am glad to report that tonnage grew in September, the fact remains that truck freight volumes leveled off over the summer and early autumn,” Costello said. “This is a reflection of an economy that is barely growing.”

Costello noted again the trucking industry is significantly smaller than it was prior to the recession, but as a result, it is better equipped to deal with slower-than-normal tonnage growth.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results. The baseline year is 2000.

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