Truck Tonnage Index inches up in July

The American Trucking Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.3 percent in July 2007, marking the first month-to-month increase since March 2007. The not seasonally adjusted index decreased 2.7 percent from June to 111.0.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the tonnage index increased to 110.9 (2000 = 100) in July, which was the highest reading since April. Despite July's sequential gain, tonnage was down 3.7 percent from a year earlier. Year-to-date the tonnage index was 2.6 percent lower than the same period in 2006.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said July's tonnage reading points to continued softness in the trucking industry, specifically as it relates to the weight of goods shipped. He said, however, that other measures of trucking volumes are not as lackluster. The number of for-hire loads, for example, which ATA publishes in a separate report, gained 0.4 percent during the first half of 2007 on a year-over-year basis.

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