Truck tonnage volumes fell in July, according to data issued this week by the American Trucking Associations (ATA).
The ATA’s advanced Seasonally Adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index, for July, came in at 112.9 (2015=100), falling 0.8%, following a 0.3% June decline, which registered a 113.8 reading.
On an annual basis, the July SA fell 3%, marking the fifth consecutive monthly decline, following a 3.2% annual decline in June. May was off 1.3% and April was off 3.4%, its largest annual decrease since February 2021.
The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment and the metric ATA says fleets should benchmark their levels with, saw a 111.5 July reading, trailing June’s 118 reading by 5.5%.
ATA bases its NSA tonnage reading on a baseline with 100 representing 2015, adding that the For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.
“Headwinds for freight remained in July, pushing the truck tonnage index lower,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello in a statement. “As has been the case for several months, a multitude of factors have caused a recession in freight, including sluggish spending on goods by households as consumers traveled more and went to concerts this summer. Less home construction, falling factory output and shippers consolidating freight into fewer shipments compared with the frenzy during the goods buying spree at the height of the pandemic are also significant drags on tonnage.”