American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.1% in March, following a revised drop of 2.8% during the previous month. In March, the index equaled 133.5 (2000=100). The all-time high is 135.8, reached in January 2015.
Compared with March 2014, the SA index increased 5%, which was above the 3.3% gain in February but below January’s 6.7% year-over-year increase. During the first quarter, tonnage was unchanged from the previous quarter while increasing 5% from the same period in 2014.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 139.7 in March which was 17.2% above the previous month (119.2).
“While tonnage did not fully recoup the loss from February, it increased nicely in March,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “I’d say that tonnage was one of the better indicators for the month, which is a positive sign for the broader economy.”
Costello added that truck tonnage has increased in five of the last six months, but is off 1.7% from the high in January.
“The next couple of months will be telling for truck freight volumes as we enter the spring freight season,” he said.