Trucking fleets hauled less freight over American roads in February due to severe winter weather across much of the nation, according to data released by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) this week.
ATA’s advanced, seasonally adjusted February For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index dropped 4.5% from January and was down nearly 6% compared to the year-ago period. That followed an uptick in January, when month-over-month volume increased nearly 2%.
ATA officials said they expect conditions to rebound in the months ahead.
“February’s drop was exacerbated, perhaps completely caused, by the severe winter weather that impacted much of the country during the month,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a statement Tuesday. “Many other economic indicators were also soft in February due to the bad storms, but I continue to expect a nice climb up for the economy and truck freight as economic stimulus checks are spent and more people are vaccinated.”
Before seasonal adjustment, the index was down nearly 8% compared to January.
ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight, the group said. The association calculates the index based on member surveys.