ATA Truck Tonnage Index Fell 0.2% in April
The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell 0.2% in April after rising 0.9% in March. (The 0.9% gain in March was unchanged from what ATA reported on April 23, 2013.) In April, the SA index equaled 123.2 (2000=100) versus 123.5 in March. The highest level on record was December 2011 at 124.3. Compared with April 2012, the SA index was up 4.3%, which is the largest year-over-year gain since January of this year (4.7%). Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2012, the tonnage index is up 4%.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 125.9 in April, which was 0.5% above the previous month (125.2).
“The slight drop in tonnage during April fit with trends from other industries that drive a significant amount of truck freight, such as manufacturing and housing,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said, noting that in April, compared with the previous month, factory output slipped 0.4% while housing starts plunged 16.5%.
“After rising significantly late last year and in January of this year, truck tonnage has been bouncing around a narrow, but elevated band over the last three months.” he said. “It is also worth noting that the year-over-year comparisons are much better than expected just a few months ago and I’m hearing good comments about freight so far in May.”