Truck tonnage slip belies robust growth

Truck freight dropped 1.4% in May, according to the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted trucking tonnage index. However, ATA pointed out freight volume remains high when calculated on a year-over-year basis.

“Despite the monthly reduction in truck tonnage during May, I believe the economic expansion is still very solid and so is the trucking industry,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “Year-over-year comparisons remain good and robust growth is expected to continue for the industry.

“Many motor carriers could boost freight volumes even more if they could just find quality drivers,” he added. “The driver situation is currently limiting capacity growth.”

Costello also noted that May’s month-to-month decrease was only the second drop in the last nine months, with the other decrease registered in January this year. Even with the reduction, May’s reading was the second highest on record, with April’s level the all-time high.

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