Based on data gathered by the American Trucking Associations' members, domestic tonnage fell in April after seeing a rise in March.
The ATA’s seasonally adjusted tonnage index ended last month, down 0.2 percent after being up 0.9 percent in March.
Compared to last April, the tonnage index rose 4.3 percent, the largest year-over-year gain since January’s 4.7 percent result. In the first four months of the year, truck tonnage is up 4 percent.
Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist, pointed out that factory output and housing starts were both down across the United States in April when compared to March, so a drop in trucking tonnage wasn’t a surprise.
“The slight drop in tonnage during April fit with trends from other industries that drive a significant amount of truck freight, such as manufacturing and housing,” he said.
“After rising significantly late last year and in January of this year, truck tonnage has been bouncing around a narrow, but elevated band over the last three months,” he continued. “It is also worth noting that the year-over-year comparisons are much better than expected just a few months ago, and I’m hearing good comments about freight so far in May.” - Jon Ross