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ATA: Truck tonnage slips in March

Despite decline in March, ATA’s chief economist noted freight tonnage remains solid.

For-hire truck tonnage declined 1.1% in March after easing 0.8% in February, according to the American Trucking Associations’ Seasonally Adjusted Index.  

ATA revised the February decline from the originally reported 2.6% to 0.8%. 

Compared with March 2017, the SA index jumped 6.3%, which was below February’s 7.7% year-over-year gain, but still well above 2017’s annual increase. For all of 2017, the index increased 3.8% over 2016. In the first quarter of this year, tonnage rose 0.9% and 7.4% from the previous quarter and a year earlier, respectively.

“Despite a softer March and February, truck freight tonnage remains solid as exhibited in the year-over-year increase of 6.3%,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “While I expect the pace of growth to continue moderating in the months ahead, if for no other reason than year-over-year comparisons will become more difficult as tonnage snapped back in May of 2017, the levels of freight will remain good going forward.”

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