Truck tonnage has strongest stretch in 15 months

ATA truck tonnage chart for May 2024

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 3.6% in May after decreasing 1% in April.

The boost was â€śthe first month since February 2023 that tonnage increased both sequentially and from a year earlier,” says ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “While there was clearly an increase in freight before the Memorial Day holiday, it is still too early to say whether this is the start of a long-awaited recovery in the truck freight market.”

In May, the index equaled 115.9 (2015=100) compared with 111.9 in April.

ATA also notes April’s decrease was revised up slightly from its May 21 press release. Compared with May 2023, the index rose 1.5%, the first year-over-year gain in fifteen months. In April, the index was down 1.3% from a year earlier.

[RELATED: Is pre-buying upsetting the conventional freight cycle?]

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 120.4 in May, 7.1% above April. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight, the association notes.

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