CCJ Indicators: Truck tonnage rises, freight shipments creep up in March

Two reports from March point to gains in freight and tonnage in the month:

[gttable cols=””]

04 21 15 - Tonnage Graphic for Highroad

ATA reports 5 percent tonnage increase from last March: In its month For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index, the American Trucking Associations reports a 1.1 percent gain in tonnage from February and a 5 percent gain compared to last March. So far this year, the tonnage index’s reading has seen solid year-over-year gains all three months. January and February saw 6.7 percent and 3.3 percent gains, respectively, from the their 2014 readings.

“While tonnage did not fully recoup the loss from February, it increased nicely in March,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “I’d say that tonnage was one of the better indicators for the month, which is a positive sign for the broader economy. The next couple of months will be telling for truck freight volumes as we enter the spring freight season.”[/gttable]

[gttable cols=””]

Shipments slightly up in March, down year over year: According to Cass’ monthly Freight Index, the number of freight shipments in March rose 0.3 percent from February. It was down more than 5 percent from last March, however. Cass’ report includes both rail and truck shipments, however, and cites in its report DAT Solutions’ most recent index — which reported a 34 percent increase in spot market freight in March from February — as a sign of improving truck freight.[/gttable]