WASHINGTON (AP) — Total goods shipped by truck in the U.S. fell in October compared with year-ago levels, and the 2007 total decrease is on pace to be the largest since 2000, a trade group said Tuesday.
American Trucking Association’s chief economist Bob Costello said the October reading illustrates continued softness in truck tonnage, due partly to the slumping housing sector hampering flatbed carriers.
''There is nothing on the horizon that points to an acceleration in truck freight,'' Costello said in a release.
Almost 70 percent of manufactured and retail goods in the U.S. are carried by truck, making the industry an important economic bellwether.
ATA's seasonally adjusted truck-tonnage index fell 1.5 percent compared with October 2006. Through the first 10 months of 2007, the index is 2.2 percent below last year's levels.
The 2007 decrease could be the largest annual drop since a 5.2 percent reduction in 2000, and compares with a 1.7 percent drop last year.
The advanced seasonally adjusted tonnage index, which measures the weight of freight hauled by U.S. truckers based on membership surveys, fell 0.3 percent last month after rising 1.5 percent in September.
The Arlington, Va.-based trucking group's members include United Parcel Service Inc. and Knight Transportation Inc.