The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index slid 0.2 percent to 123.2 in April, after rising 0.9 percent in March to 123.5.
Compared with April 2012, the index was up 4.3 percent, which is the largest year-over-year gain since the 4.7 percent increase in January 2013. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2012, the tonnage index was up 4.0 percent.
“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,” said Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist, in a written statement. He noted that in April, versus the previous month, factory output slipped 0.4 percent, while housing starts plunged 16.5 percent.
“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,” Costello 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.”