Tonnage increased by 1.3% in June

July 30, 2008

Truck tonnage increased 1.3% in June, marking a second consecutive month-to-month gain, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello says June’s solid tonnage reading matched several anecdotal reports from motor carriers.

Despite the uptick, however, he notes that it "remains a close call whether the general economy will dip into a recession later this year or if it will only slow significantly.

"It seems that truck tonnage is once again leading the U.S. economy. During the 2000-2001 cycle, trucking pulled out of a recession before the aggregate economy fell into one.

"Unfortunately, truck tonnage could slow later this year as the overall economy is expected to be quite weak in the fourth quarter and the first quarter of next year."

Costello says industry capacity has tightened significantly in recent months as high fuel prices continue to take some carriers out of the market.