ARLINGTON, Va. – US for-hire truck tonnage dropped 2.5% in April, and decreased 1.8% year-over-year.
In March, the American Trucking Associations For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index was up 0.6% year-over-year. Year to date, the index is off 0.3%.
“I have to admit that April’s contraction is a bit surprising, especially considering the anecdotal reports I’ve been hearing from fleets regarding freight levels,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “It’s not necessarily that tonnage levels fell in April that is surprising, but the size of the decrease. One explanation is that housing starts fell substantially in April as well, and residential construction generates heavier truck freight. Despite the fact that tonnage is down a total of 3.6% over the last three months, I still expect moderate growth going forward as key sectors of the economy continue to improve slowly.”