ATA Truck Tonnage Index Rose 0.5% in May

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.5% in May after falling 1.4% in April. In May, the index equaled 117.1 (2015=100) versus 116.5 in April.

“The transition in the freight market continued in May with the index hitting the second highest level since the pandemic started. Specifically on the market transition, ATA’s tonnage index is dominated by contract freight. The traditional spot market has slowed as freight softens, but these contract carriers are backfilling any losses in freight with loads from shippers that is reducing spot market exposure,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Essentially the market is transitioning back to pre-pandemic shares of contract versus spot market.

“Overall, economic indicators that are important to trucking slowed in May, including retail sales, housing starts, and manufacturing output,” he said.

April’s decline was revised up from our May 24 press release.

Compared with May 2021, the SA index increased 3.7%, which was the ninth straight year-over-year gain and the largest since April 2021. In April, the index was up 2.5% from a year earlier. In 2022, year-to-date and compared with same period in 2021, tonnage was up 2.7%.
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