February truck tonnage tallies are mixed, reports ATA

By LM Staff · March 24, 2020

Truck tonnage volumes were mixed in February, according to data issued today by the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

The ATA’s advanced seasonally-adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index for February—at 119.1 (2015=100) headed up 1.8% from January to February, following a 0.3% decrease from January to February, which was downwardly revised from a 0.1% increase.

ATA officials said that the February 2019 SA index reading was up 2.6% annually and was preceded by a 0.4% year-over-year gain in January. For the first two months of the 2020, ATA said the index was up 1.5% compared with the same two months last year, adding that in 2019, the index was 3.3% higher than 2018.

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 108.2 in February, 5.2% below January’s 114.1, which was downwardly revised from an original reading of 114.6.

“Before any impacts from COVID-19, truck tonnage had a solid month in February,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello in a statement. “Last month, solid housing starts, high levels of retail sales, and even a modest improvement in manufacturing activity all helped freight volumes. With truck tonnage up nicely from a year earlier in February, the trucking industry was in a fairly good place before economic impacts hit from the health crisis. Trucking volumes, early in the COVID-19 emergency, will be positive for consumer staples and other commodities before we see a slowdown as the economy contracts in the second quarter.”

March 24, 2020

Article Topics ATA · Trucking · All Topics