ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Sept. 30, 2003) — Trucking activity in the U.S. slowed considerably in August, according to the latest figures from American Trucking Associations (ATA), but the year-to-date tonnage-shipped index remained ahead of the 2002 pace.
The ATA's seasonally adjusted Truck Tonnage Index fell 9.5 percent in August, reflecting lower manufacturing rates and retail sales as well as the blackout in the upper Midwest and East Coast, according to Bob Costello, chief economist for the ATA.
"Despite the August figure,” Mr. Costello said, “I still believe that truck tonnage is on a recovery path. Between very lean inventories throughout the supply chain and improvement in new orders for manufactured goods, truck tonnage should continue to increase. That doesn't mean that we still won't have months like August, but the trend line will continue upwards."
The ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership. The August figure is preliminary and subject to change, the group said.
Trucks hauled 8.9 billion tons of freight in the U.S. in 2002, or more than two-thirds of all tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, the ATA said. That volume translated into $585 billion in revenue for domestic motor carriers.