The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.6% in January after increasing 0.9% in December. In January, the index equaled 115.5 (2015=100) compared with 114.9 in December.
“January’s gain was the sixth straight totaling 4.4%,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The index, which is dominated by contract freight with only small amounts of spot market truck freight, is off 3.9% from the all-time high in August 2019 and only 1.5% below March 2020 when the pandemic hit.
In January, truck tonnage was helped by rising retail sales and factory output. While housing starts fell last month, which is another important driver of truck tonnage, it remained at high levels.”
Compared with January 2021, the SA index increased 1.2%, which was the fifth straight year-over-year gain. In December, the index was up 1.5% from a year earlier. In 2021, compared with the average in 2020, tonnage was up 0.3%. In 2020, tonnage was off 4% compared with 2019.
ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership.