Indicators: Tonnage slumped slightly again in March, still up year over year

CCJ‘s Indicators rounds up the latest reports on trucking business indicators on rates, freight, equipment, the economy and more.

The amount of freight moved by the for-hire trucking industry, as measured by the American Trucking Associations‘ monthly Truck Tonnage Index, slipped for the second straight month in March.

ATA reported tonnage fell 1.1 percent from February, following February’s eight-tenths of a percent slip from January (an upward revision from the originally reported dip of 2.6 percent).

However, compared to the same month last year, tonnage was up 6.3 percent in March, ATA reported. Year to date, tonnage was up 7.4 percent in the first quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. First quarter tonnage was also up 0.9 percent compared to the last quarter of 2017.

“Despite a softer March and February, truck freight tonnage remains solid as exhibited in the year-over-year increase of 6.3 percent,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “While I expect the pace of growth to continue moderating in the months ahead, if for no other reason than year-over-year comparisons will become more difficult as tonnage snapped back in May of 2017, the levels of freight will remain good going forward.”