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Truck tonnage jump reflects shift from spot market to contract

U.S. for-hire truck tonnage jumped 2.7% in June, according to the American Trucking Associations, reflecting a continued shift of freight from the spot market to contracts.

A related index tracking the trends was 7.9% above June 2021 levels.

“June’s jump tells me a couple of things: first, the transition in the freight market from spot back to contract continues. ATA’s tonnage index is dominated by contract freight, so while the spot market has slowed as freight softens, contract carriers are backfilling those losses with loads from shippers reducing spot market exposure,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. 

“Essentially, the market is transitioning back to pre-pandemic shares of contract versus spot market. Second, and perhaps equally important, while economic growth is expected to be soft overall in the second quarter, the goods-economy wasn’t as bad as feared.”

June marked the 10th consecutive month of year-over-year gains, and the largest since June 2018.

truck tonnage chart
(Source: American Trucking Associations)

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