American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index declined 0.8% in June 2014 after a revised 0.9% gain the previous month. In June, the index equaled 128.6 (2000=100) versus 129.6 in May. The index is off 1.9% from the all-time high in November 2013 (131.0).
Compared with June 2013, the SA index increased 2.3%, down from May’s 3.3% year-over-year gain. This year-over-year increase was the second-smallest in 2014, following a 1% gain in January. Year-to-date, versus the same period in 2013, tonnage is up 2.8%.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 132.3 in June 2014, which was 0.5% below the previous month (132.9).
“June was one of those months where the data doesn’t quite match up with the anecdotal reports from fleets,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “We had heard the freight volumes were good.”
Costello added that tonnage had increased for four consecutive months prior to June totaling 4.4%.
“Despite the small reprieve in June, the second quarter was much better than the first quarter,” he said. “Tonnage increased 2.3% from the first quarter, which was the largest quarter-to-quarter gain since the first quarter in 2013. Compared with the second quarter in 2013, tonnage increased 3.2%, a percentage point better than the first quarter year-over-year increase.”
Trucking serves as a barometer of the US economy, representing 69.1% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 9.7 billion tons of freight in 2013. Motor carriers collected $681.7 billion, or 81.2% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.