American truckers posted another monthly rise in their total tons hauled in January, but the total still remains lower than the same time last year, before the pandemic hit U.S. shores, according to statistics released today by the American Trucking Associations (ATA).
The ATA said its seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.4% in January after rising 1.2% in December. By the numbers, the index equaled 114.6 in January compared with 113.1 in December, on a scale where 2015 represents the baseline of 100.
“Over the last four months, the tonnage index has increased a total of 3.3%, which is obviously good news” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a release. “However, the index is still off 2.8% from the high in March as tonnage plunged 9% in April alone. I continue to expect a nice climb up for the economy and truck freight as we get more economic stimulus and increased vaccination numbers.”
Despite its slow improvement, the SA index for this January fell 2.1% compared to January 2020, following a month when the December figure was down 2.6% over the previous December. And without being adjusted for seasonal trends, the raw numbers show that tonnage actually hauled by the fleets equaled 107.4 in January, 4.5% below the December level of 112.4.