ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 2.4% in September

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.4% in September after rising 0.3% in August. In September, the index equaled 112.9 (2015=100) compared with 110.2 in August.

“September’s sequential gain was the largest in 2021,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “It is good that tonnage rose in September, but it is important to note that this is happening because each truck is hauling more, not from an increase in the amount of equipment operated as contract carriers in the for-hire truckload market continue to shrink from the lack of new trucks and drivers.

“The drivers of truck freight, including retail, construction, and manufacturing, plus a surge in imports, are helping keep demand high for trucking services,” he said.

August’s reading was revised down slightly to 0.3% from our September 21 press release.

Compared with September 2020, the SA index rose 1.7%, which was the first year-over-year gain since May. In August, the index was down 0.7% from a year earlier. Year-to-date, compared with the same nine months in 2020, tonnage is unchanged.
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