The American Trucking Associations (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.5% in April 2014 after rising 0.6% the previous month. In April, the index equaled 129.1 (2000=100) versus 127.2 in March. The all-time high was in November 2013 (131.0).
Compared with April 2013, the SA index climbed 4.8%, which is the largest year-over-year gain of 2014. Year-to-date versus the same period in 2013, tonnage is up 2.9%.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 131.5 in April 2014, which was 1.6% above the previous month (129.4).
“April was the third straight gain in tonnage totaling 4%,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. Tonnage is off 1.4% from the all-time high in November.
“I’m pleased that tonnage has been making solid progress after falling a total of 5.2% in December and January,” he said. “April’s nice gain was better than the contraction in industrial production and the lackluster retail sales during the same month.”
Trucking serves as a barometer of the US economy, representing 68.5% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 9.4 billion tons of freight in 2012. Motor carriers collected $642.1 billion, or 80.7% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.