Compared with May 2012, the index increased 6.7 percent, which is the largest year-over-year gain since December 2011. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2012, the tonnage index rose 4.5 percent.
“After bouncing around in a fairly tight band during the previous three months, tonnage skyrocketed in May,” said Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist, in a written statement. He added that some of the increase was driven by increased factory output in May, as well as retail sales that performed stronger than expected for the month.
“While we heard good reports regarding freight levels during May, I have to admit I am a little surprised at the large gain in tonnage,” Costello added.