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ATA Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.5% in April

Tonnage is off 1.4 percent from the all-time high in November.

The Trucker News Services

5/20/2014

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.5 percent in April, after rising 0.6 percent 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 increased 4.8 percent, which is the largest year-over-year gain of 2014. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage is up 2.9 percent.

 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, which was 1.6 percent above the previous month (129.4).

 “April was the third straight gain in tonnage totaling 4 percent,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. Tonnage is off 1.4 percent from the all-time high in November.

“I’m pleased that tonnage has been making solid progress after falling a total of 5.2 percent in December and January,” he said. “And 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 U.S. economy, representing 68.5 percent 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 percent of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 10th day of the month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

 The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry.

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