ATA truck tonnage index down 1.1% in April
The American Trucking Associations said its seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index declined 1.1 percent in April.
The seasonally adjusted tonnage index equaled 114.0 (2000 = 100) in April, 2 percent higher compared with April 2007, marking the sixth consecutive year-over-year increase.
'Truck tonnage hasn't grown since January of this year on a month-to-month basis, suggesting the overall economy remains very soft,' said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. 'With that said, the fact that tonnage is showing sustained year-over-year growth is positive for the industry, although part of the strength is due to easy comparisons from 2007.'
He added that the cost of fuel is currently of more concern to the motor carrier industry than freight volumes. 'Surging fuel prices are weighing heavily on consumers,' he said. “Since trucks haul virtually all consumer goods at some point in the supply chain, the industry is going to be significantly impacted both directly through higher diesel prices and indirectly as consumers pay more for gasoline and have less money to spend on truck-transported goods.”