truck with flatbed on highway

Truck tonnage up 2.4% year-over-year in February

From Transport Topics.

Truck tonnage in February increased 2.4% compared with the same month a year ago, and American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Index equaled 115.3, the federation announced March 22.

The index remained unchanged month-to-month, after moving up 0.4% in January, said Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist.

“February was the first month that the index didn’t increase since July,” Costello said. “Despite a string of gains, the index is still off 1.8% from March 2020. The index is also off 4.2% from the all-time high in August 2019.”

However, February’s increase was the sixth straight year-over-year gain and the largest over that period. In January, the index was up 0.9% from a year earlier. Year-to-date and compared with same period in 2021, tonnage is up 1.7%.

Costello said that current market conditions include a shortage of at least 80,000 drivers. Difficulties purchasing new and used equipment, especially Class 8 vehicles, also are contributing to the flat month-over-month index number.

“Demand for trucking freight services remains strong, but for-hire contract carriers are capacity constrained due to the driver and equipment markets. The spot market has been surging as these carriers can’t haul all of the freight they are asked to move,” Costello said. “So the fact that the tonnage index hasn’t fully recovered is a supply problem, not a lack of demand.”

See the complete article online at Transport Topics.