ARLINGTON, Va., April 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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.
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 69.1% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 9.7 billion tons of freight in 2013. Motor carriers collected $681.7 billion, or 81.2% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.
ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 10th day of the month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons and key financial indicators.
The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation's freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Trucking Moves America Forward.
SOURCE American Trucking Associations