April Truck Tonnage Jumps 9.5 Percent from a Year Ago

May 22, 2018 by Clarissa Hawes

The amount of freight hauled by the trucking industry surged 9.5 percent in April compared with the same month a year earlier, the American Trucking Associations said Tuesday.

This is the largest year-over-year increase since October 2017, the ATA said.

The ATA’s seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.2 percent in April, compared with a 1 percent drop in March. The ATA index adjusted March’s decline, which was originally reported as 1.1 percent.

ATA calculates its tonnage index based on membership surveys. In April, the index equaled 112.5, up from 110.1 in March. Year-to-date tonnage increased 8 percent compared with the same period in 2017.

“Truck freight tonnage remains robust,” said Bob Costello, the ATA’s chief economist. “Longer-term, strength in consumption, factory output and construction should keep truck freight tonnage solid for the quarters ahead.”

A delay in the produce season because of weather constraints contributed to the slight decline in freight tonnage in March, Costello said.

Trucking hauls nearly 71 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation. The industry accounts for about $676.2 billion in freight business, or 79.8 percent of total revenue earned by all transport modes, according to the ATA.

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