April truck tonnage drops to lowest level since 1994, reports ATA

 

 

 

The ATA’s advanced seasonally-adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index for April—at 104.9 (2015=100)— fell 12.2%, following a 0.4% March gain, which was downwardly revised from an initial reading of a 1.2% increase. This came on the heels of a 1.8% February gain over January, which came in at 119. On an annual basis, the April SA reading was off 113%, which ATA said represents the largest annual decline going back to April 2009. March’s annual SA decline, by comparison, was 3.5%, and on a year-to-date basis through April SA tonnage is down 1.3%.

April truck tonnage data issued today by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) made history but not in a good way.

The ATA’s advanced seasonally-adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index for April—at 104.9 (2015=100)— fell 12.2%, following a 0.4% March gain, which was downwardly revised from an initial reading of a 1.2% increase. This came on the heels of a 1.8% February gain over January, which came in at 119.

On an annual basis, the April SA reading was off 113%, which ATA said represents the largest annual decline going back to April 2009. March’s annual SA decline, by comparison, was 3.5%, and on a year-to-date basis through April SA tonnage is down 1.3%.

“April’s monthly decline was the largest in 26 years when there was a labor strike in April 1994,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello in a statement. “Considering that April factory output and retail sales plummeted, the large drop in truck freight is not surprising. However, not all fleets saw large declines in April. Those hauling food for grocery stores and those involved in the on-line retail supply chain outperformed most other fleets. Some fleets witnessed very large declines in freight last month.”

The ATA executive added that these historic declines show just how much trucking was impacted by our national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As the nation starts taking small steps toward reopening, we should see some modest improvements in the freight market, but the size of April’s decline gives us an idea of how long the road back may be,” he said.

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, was 104.6 (2015=100) in April, which came in 12.8% below March’s 120 reading.

 

By LM Staff · May 19, 2020

Source : https://www.logisticsmgmt.com/article/april_truck_tonnage_drops_to_lowest_level_since_1994_reports_ata