ARLINGTON, Va. — US for-hire truck tonnage inched up 0.6% in March, on the heels of a 1.9% gain in February, which was less than the 2.8% growth originally reported.
The American Trucking Associations For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index read 127.3 in March. The all-time high of 131 was recorded in November 2013.
March tonnage was up 3.1% year-over-year, representing the largest y-o-y gain of 2014.
Tonnage for the first quarter was down 2.5% compared to the previous quarter, representing the worst quarterly decline since the economic recovery began, ATA reports. However, compared to Q1 2013, tonnage was up 2.3%.
“Tonnage continued to claw its way out of the hole that was dug in December and January,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “However, with a cumulative gain of 2.5% during the last two months, we still have a way to go to offset the total loss of 5.2% in December and January. Despite the fact that tonnage hasn’t snapped back to the levels we saw late last year, the fundamentals for truck freight continue to look good.
“While it will take time to regain what was lost due to weather and other factors, like a potential inventory correction in the first quarter, I remain optimistic for 2014; however, don’t expect a 6.3% annual gain in truck tonnage like during 2013.”