The American Trucking Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell by 1.1% in March to a reading of 110, down from 111.2 in February.
The February Truck Tonnage Index also saw a decline, though the number has been revised from a 2.6% drop to just 0.8%.
Despite the second straight month of declines, ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said freight tonnage remains at a solid level compared to last year. Compared with March 2017, the seasonally adjusted index jumped 6.3%, which was below February’s 7.7% year-over-year gain, but still bested any increase seen in 2017.
For all of 2017, the index increased 3.8% compared with the previous year. In the first quarter of this year, tonnage rose 0.9% and 7.4% from the previous quarter and a year earlier, respectively. In the first quarter of this year, tonnage rose 0.9% and 7.4% from the previous quarter and a year earlier, respectively.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 114.6 in March-- or 12.9% above the previous month
“While I expect the pace of growth to continue moderating in the months ahead, if for no other reason than year-over-year comparisons will become more difficult as tonnage snapped back in May of 2017, the levels of freight will remain good going forward,” said Costello.