Trucking Tonnage Declines in March
The American Trucking Associations announced that the For-Hire Truck Tonnage index fell one percent in the month of March follow a 0.1 percent drop the month before.
The index equaled 137.5 in March, which was down from the all-time high of 142.7 in February of 2016. ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello commented on the change, saying: “Like several other economic indicators, March truck tonnage was likely hurt by some late season winter storms. Despite last month’s dip, seasonally adjusted tonnage rose 1.2 percent during the first quarter overall from the previous quarter, and increased 0.2 percent from the same quarter last year. While I’m not expecting a surge in truck tonnage anytime soon, the signs remain mostly positive for freight, including lower inventory levels, better manufacturing activity, solid housing starts and good consumer spending. As a result, we can expect moderate growth going forward.”
This prediction is in line with previous ones made by ATA officials and administrators, who said a slow but steady increase in demand and tonnage was expected beginning in 2017. The trucking industry hauls over 70 percent of the nation’s freight, and hauled nearly 10.5 billion tons of freight in 2015 alone.