Econintersect: The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 0.7% in April 2011 (March 2011 gained a revised 1.9%). Compared with April 2010, SA tonnage climbed 4.8% meaning the data is less good – and not declining
Econintersect points out that rail traffic increase in transporting on-road trailers is up 6.0%, and it is likely that long range trailers are being hauled to a larger degree on railroads and not over-the-road.
According to ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello:
The drop in April is not a concern. Since freight volumes are so volatile truck tonnage is unlikely to grow every month, even on a seasonally adjusted basis. I expect economic activity, and with it truck freight levels to grow at a moderate pace in the coming months and quarters. The industry, and the economy at large, should benefit from the recent declines in oil and diesel prices. Lower fuel costs will help freight volumes and motor carrier bottom lines going forward.