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10/23/2012 4:30:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

September Truck Tonnage Rises 2.4%

Year-Over-Year Gain Is Smallest Since Decemer 2009

Tom Biery/Trans Pixs

Truck tonnage rose 2.4% in September from the same month last year, the smallest year-over-year gain in almost three years, American Trucking Associations said Tuesday.

Tonnage rose 0.4% from August, following a 0.9% month-to-month drop in August from July, ATA said in its monthly seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage report.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents tonnage actually hauled by fleets, fell 9% in September from August, to a reading of 115.3. ATA uses the year 2000 as a 100-reading baseline.

August’s tonnage level had improved 3.2% year-over-year, and September’s year-over-year increase was the smallest since December 2009.

Year to date, tonnage is up 3.6% over last year, and the September reading matched January’s, so the index has been on a flat trend-line over the past nine months, ATA said.

Third-quarter seasonally adjusted tonnage was up 0.4% from the second quarter and 3.4% over the same quarter last year.

“The year-over-year deceleration in tonnage continued during September, although I was encouraged that the seasonally adjusted index edged higher from August,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said.

He noted a recent acceleration in housing starts — which is boosting tonnage — is being countered by flattening manufacturing output and elevated inventories throughout the supply chain.

“Expect year-over-year comparisons to continue shrinking through the rest of the year as tonnage grew nicely during the last three months of 2011,” Costello said in a statement, adding that this year’s tonnage level will rise less than 3.5% over last year.

ATA calculates the tonnage each month based on reports by its member trucking companies.

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