American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.2% in July after falling 2% in June. In July, the index equaled 109.8 (2015=100) compared with 111.1 in June. “Softness in tonnage over the last few months is due more to supply constraints, rather than a big drop in freight volumes,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Not only are there broader supply chain issues, like semiconductors, holding tonnage back, but there are also industry specific difficulties, including the driver shortage and lack of equipment. For-hire truckload carriers are operating fewer trucks than a year earlier. It is difficult to haul significantly more freight with fewer trucks and drivers. “In addition to these supply issues, retail sales and housing starts, both large drivers of truck freight, retreated in July, although both rose on a year-over-year basis,” he said. June’s reading was revised down to -2% from our July 20 press release. Compared with July 2020, the SA index fell 2.9%, which was the first year-over-year drop since March. In June, the index was flat from a year earlier. Year-to-date, compared with the same seven months in 2020, tonnage is down 0.2%.
American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear issued the following statement about the California Air Resources Board’s new Clean Truck Partnership:
“We’ve long advocated for a single, national standard that respects and preserves interstate commerce. However, the trucking industry shouldn’t be strong armed by the government into an agreement with such terms.
“Our association represents motor carrier members – the paying customers who will inherit the costs of this agreement – and we will not roll over nor relinquish our right to litigate with any party when our interests are threatened. It is clear that America has lost its way when the government bullies the private sector to succumb to unachievable timelines, targets and technologies.”