ATA truck tonnage index jumped 2.4% in March

Index 3.8% higher March 2021

ARLINGTON, Va., April 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The American Trucking Associations’ Seasonally Adjusted (SA) Leading For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 2.4% in March after rising 0.7% in February. In March, the index stood at 118.8 (2015=100) against 116.1 in February.

“It is important to note that ATA’s for-hire tonnage data is dominated by contract freight with minimal quantities of spot market loads,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “And clearly contract freight was strong in March, posting the biggest sequential gain since May 2020. March was also the eighth consecutive month-over-month improvement, with a total increase of 7.4% over the period.

“During the first quarter, the index was up 2.4% from the last quarter of 2021 and 2.6% from a year earlier. Although there may be some recent weakness on In the spot market, contract for-hire freight tonnage remains strong and is only constrained by lack of capacity, both of drivers and equipment, in contract fleets.”

February’s increase was revised upwards from our March 22 Press release.

Compared to March 2021, the SA index rose 3.8%, which was the seventh consecutive year-over-year gain and the largest during this period. In February, the index was up 3.2% from a year earlier. In 2022, year-to-date and compared to the same period in 2021, tonnage increased by 2.6%.

The non-seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in the tonnage actually transported by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, stood at 123.9 in March, or 17.9% above the February level (105.1). In the calculation of the index, 100 represents 2015. ATA’s for-hire truck tonnage index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the US economy, accounting for 72.5% of the tonnage moved by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks transported 10.23 billion tonnes of freight in 2020. Motor carriers collected $732.3 billioni.e. 80.4% of the total revenue generated by all modes of transport.

The ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys of its members and has done so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure subject to change in the final report published around the 5th of each month. The report includes monthly and annual results, relevant economic comparisons and key financial indicators.

SOURCE American Trucking Associations

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