American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell 1.7% in April after decreasing 2.8% in March. In April, the index equaled 112.7 (2015=100) compared with 114.7 in March.
“While the broader economy continues to surprise and thus far stave off an expected recession, the freight economy is starkly different,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The goods-portion of the economy is soft and as a result, even contract truck freight is now falling, albeit not nearly as much as the spot market. The tonnage index hit the lowest level since September 2021 in April and has now fallen on a year-over-year basis for two straight months.”
March’s decline was revised up from our April 18 press release.
Compared with April 2022, the SA index decreased 3.4%, which was the largest year-over-year decrease since February 2021. In March, the index was down 2.4% from a year earlier.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 109 in April, 9.5% below the March level (120.4). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.