WASHINGTON (AP) — The amount of goods shipped by truck in the United States fell for the fourth straight month in July compared with a year ago and market softness is expected to continue, an industry trade group said Monday.
The American Trucking Association said its seasonally adjusted truck tonnage index fell 3.7 percent compared with July 2006.
''The weakness in the residential construction market continues to have a disproportionately larger impact on truck tonnage than the number of loads transported,'' ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a release.
There's not much to look forward to in the fall freight season, Costello said, as the nationwide housing slump is expected to continue and economists are predicting only moderate economic growth.
The July tonnage index, which measures the weight of freight hauled by U.S. truckers based on surveys from its membership, rose 0.3 percent compared with the previous month — the first month-to-month gain since March.
More than two thirds of all manufactured and retail goods in the U.S. are carried by truck, making the industry an important economic bellwether.
The Arlington, Va.-based trucking group's members include U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc., United Parcel Service Inc. and Knight Transportation Inc.