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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Jumped 2.4% in March

May 02, 2022, 07:05 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.4 percent in March after rising 0.7 percent in February. In March, the index equaled 118.8 (2015=100) versus 116.1 in February.

“It is important to note that ATA’s for-hire tonnage data is dominated by contract freight with minimal amounts of spot market loads,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “And clearly contract freight was solid in March, witnessing the largest sequential gain since May 2020. March was also the eighth straight month-to-month improvement, with a total increase of 7.4 percent over that period.

“During the first quarter, the index rose 2.4 percent from the final quarter of 2021 and increased 2.6 percent from a year earlier. While there might be some recent softness in the spot market, for-hire contract freight tonnage remains solid and is only limited by lack of capacity—both drivers and equipment—at contract fleets.”

February’s increase was revised higher from its March 22 press release.

Compared with March 2021, the SA index increased 3.8 percent, which was the seventh straight year-over-year gain and the largest over that period. In February, the index was up 3.2 percent from a year earlier. In 2022, year-to-date and compared with same period in 2021, tonnage was up 2.6 percent.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 123.9 in March, 17.9 percent above the February level (105.1). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.

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