The decrease of 0.6% in July’s seasonally adjusted truck tonnage was the second month in a row of decline, since tonnage dipped 0.2% in June. Overall, ATA says year-to-date tonnage through July is up a modest 2.4% when compared to the first seven months of 2004.
ATA chief economist Bob Costello had previously lowered 2005 growth projections to between 2.5 and 2.75% from an initial 3.0 to 3.5%. Costello attributes the decline to weakness in the manufacturing sector. The association notes that trucks represent almost 70% of domestic freight tonnage carried by all modes. The industry moved 9.8 billion tons of freight in 2004.