Softness in tonnage over the last few months is due more to supply constraints, rather than a big drop in freight volumes in the U.S,” according to ATA chief economist Bob Costello.
“Not only are there broader supply chain issues, like semiconductors, holding tonnage back, but there are also industry specific difficulties, including the driver shortage and lack of equipment. For-hire truckload carriers are operating fewer trucks than a year earlier. It is difficult to haul significantly more freight with fewer trucks and drivers.”
“In addition to these supply issues, retail sales and housing starts, both large drivers of truck freight, retreated in July, although both rose on a year-over-year basis” he said.