American Trucking Associations’advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.2% in January, following a revised gain of 0.1% during the previous month. In January, the index equaled 135.7 (2000=100), an all-time high.
Compared with January 2014, the SA index increased 6.6%, which was the largest year-over-year gain in over a year.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 126.9 in January which was 3.5% below the previous month (131.5).
ATA recently revised the seasonally adjusted index back five years as part of its annual revision. For all of 2014, tonnage was up 3.7%, slightly better than the 3.4% originally reported. In 2013, the index increased 5.5%.
“Truck tonnage continued to improve in January, marking the fourth straight gain totaling 3.5%,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Last year was slightly better for truck tonnage than we originally thought and I am expecting that momentum to continue in 2015.”
Costello added that since bottoming out in March 2014, tonnage is up 6.7%.
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 69.1% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 9.7 billion tons of freight in 2013. Motor carriers collected $681.7 billion, or 81.2% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.