Don't expect the rate of growth this year to mirror the last couple of years, said American Trucking Associations' Chief Economist Bob Costello, referring to the 5.8% growth in both 2010 and 2011.
The ATA advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index, released today, showed a slight up-tick of 0.2 percent in March after increasing 0.5% in February.
The SA index stood at 119.5 (2000=100), up from 119.3 in February. Compared with March 2011, the SA index was up 2.7%, which was the smallest year-over-year increase since December 2009.
The not-seasonally-adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 123.2 in March, which was 9.1% above the previous month.
"March tonnage, and the first quarter overall, was reflective of an economy that is growing, but growing moderately," says ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. "The pace of freight definitely slowed from the torrid pace in late 2011."
"Most economic indicators still look good, which will continue to support tonnage going forward," he says.