Truck tonnage volumes declined for the second consecutive month in April, according to data recently issued by the American Trucking Associations (ATA).
The ATA’s advanced Seasonally Adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index, for April, came in at 112.7 (2015=100), for a 1.7% decrease compared to March’s 114.7, following a 2.8% decrease from February to March.
On an annual basis, the April SA fell 3.4%, marking its largest annual decrease going back to February 2021, following a 2.4% annual decrease in March.
The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment and the metric ATA says fleets should benchmark their levels with, came in at 109 in April, coming in 9.5% below March’s 120.4 reading.
ATA bases its NSA tonnage reading on a baseline with 100 representing 2015, adding that the For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.
“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 in a statement. “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.”