The American Trucking Assns. announced its advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index rose 0.7% in May thanks to modest economic growth. This is a 1.3% increase over May 2004.
Between January and May, the tonnage index increased 3.2% compared with the same period last year. ATA predicts that annual tonnage in 2005 will see a 3- to 3.5% gain over 2004.
However, ATA also notes that some production sectors, such as domestic steel, are lagging which could drag tonnage later in the year.
"The economy continues to decelerate from last year, but we are not in a significant downturn," said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. "However, growth in freight volumes will be modest for the rest of this year compared with 2004 when our tonnage index grew 5.7%. I believe there will be a favorable supply-demand market this coming fall freight season despite the moderation in volumes."