Tonnage rises for third straight month in April, nears all-time high

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Updated May 23, 2014

05 20 14 - Tonnage Graphic for Web PostingThe amount of tonnage carried by the for-hire trucking industry rose 1.5 percent in April from March, according to the American Trucking Associations’ monthly Fo-Hire Truck Tonnage Index, marking the third month in a row the index has increased.

April’s reading of 129.1 was also up 4.8 percent from the same month last year, which is the largest year over year gain in 2014, ATA says. Year to date, tonnage is up 2.9 percent.

The index’s all-time high came in November 2013 — a reading of 131.0 — before falling off in December and January, partly due to severe weather.

In the three months since, tonnage has gained 4 percent total, says ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello, but is still off 1.4 percent from November’s high.

“I’m pleased that tonnage has been making solid progress after falling a total of 5.2% in December and January,” he said. “And April’s nice gain was better than the contraction in industrial production and the lackluster retail sales during the same month.”

ATA’s tonnage index is based on membership surveys.