ATA
Ata Tonnage Jan 23 Web 63f8bb43af00f

ATA: Truck tonnage increases in January

Feb. 24, 2023
‘I suspect that some of the gain is attributable to capacity coming out of the network, especially those carriers that primarily operate in the spot market and/or bought expensive used equipment in the last couple of years,” ATA’s top economist says.

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.7% in January after increasing 1% in December.

In January, the index equaled 117.1 (2015=100) compared with 116.2 in December.

“Tonnage has increased nicely in the last couple of months,” said Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist. “I suspect that some of the gain is attributable to capacity coming out of the network, especially those carriers that primarily operate in the spot market and/or bought expensive used equipment in the last couple of years. This would push more freight to contract carriers, which dominate this index. It could also be that freight bottomed and is coming up a little, too. So, the gain is likely a little higher demand and a little less supply.

“Despite the increases in December and January, tonnage is still off 1.4% from its recent high in September.”

Compared with January 2022, the SA index increased 1.5%, which was the 17th straight year-over-year gain, ATA said. In December, the index was up 0.9% from a year earlier. In 2022, compared with the average in 2021, tonnage was up 3.5%.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 112.7 in January, 0.4% below the December level (113.2). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 72.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.93 billion tons of freight in 2021. Motor carriers collected $875.5 billion, or 80.8% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. 

About the Author

Commercial Vehicle Staff

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Leveraging telematics to get the most from insurance

Fleet owners are quickly adopting telematics as part of their risk mitigation strategy. Here’s why.

Reliable EV Charging Solution for Last-Mile Delivery Fleets

Selecting the right EV charging infrastructure and the right partner to best solve your needs are critical. Learn which solution PepsiCo is choosing to power their fleet and help...

Overcoming Common Roadblocks Associated with Fleet Electrification at Scale

Fleets in the United States, are increasingly transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles. While this shift presents challenges, there are strategies...

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...