The trucking industry didn’t get any help from the economy in October, though freight tonnages are starting to look more favorable compared with last year, according to the most recent report from the American Trucking Associations.
The trade group said in a Monday release that its seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index dipped 0.2 percent in October, on the heels of a 0.3 percent drop in September. The industry has been weighed down by a drawn-out freight recession that’s taken a toll on carriers such as trucking giant YRC Worldwide Inc. (Nasdaq: YRCW), based in Overland Park. The company has negotiated with union workers, pension funds and lenders to avoid bankruptcy.
Compared with October 2008, the index dropped 5.2 percent, though that was the best year-to-year comparison since November 2008. In September, the index was 7.3 percent below prior-year levels.
The figures mean the economy still is righting itself, though it’s in better shape than a year ago and should show a trend of modest improvement, ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a release.
“Repeating what I said last month, the trucking industry should not be alarmed by the small decreases in September and October,” Costello said. “The economy is behaving as expected, with starts and stops. This is being reflected in truck tonnage, as well as most economic indicators.”