ATA Truck Tonnage Index slips 5.1pc in March after 2.3pc February fall

THE American Trucking Associations' (ATA) truck tonnage index decreased 5

28 April 2021 - 19:00
THE American Trucking Associations' (ATA) truck tonnage index decreased 5.1 per cent in March after falling 2.3 per cent in February, while the index equalled 106.8 compared to 112.5 in February, reports the American Journal of Transportation.

Compared with March 2020, the seasonally adjusted (SA) index fell 9.5 per cent, which was preceded by a 3.8 per cent year-on-year decline in February.

During the first quarter, seasonally adjusted tonnage fell 0.4 per cent from the final quarter of 2020 and declined five per cent from a year earlier.

'March's drop comes as somewhat of a surprise. I certainly heard from many fleets that the end-of-quarter rush was good, but early March was soft.' said ATA economist Bob Costello.

Truck freight volumes were also negatively impacted by supply chain issues from the lack of microchips and other inputs. That said, this surprise to the downside does not change my positive outlook going forward.

'Household spending power is strong and I believe there is plenty of pent-up demand for consumer spending. Single-family home construction and stronger manufacturing output, even with the supply chain issues, will help support tonnage through this year and beyond,' said Mr Costello.

Trucking represents 72.5 per cent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation in the US. Trucks hauled 11.84 billion tonnes of freight in 2019, while motor carriers collected US$791.7 billion, amounting to 80.4 per cent of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

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