Truck Tonnage Falls in January

Less freight moved in January than in December, according to one report. 

For-hire transportation declined 3.5 percent month-over-month, according to the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index, which released Feb. 20. 

In December, tonnage rose 1.2 percent. That number was lower than the 2.1 percent increase originally reported

For the 11th straight month, year-over-year comparisons showed a decline, with January 2024 representing a 4.7 percent fall from January 2023. December’s year-over-year decrease was 0.8 percent. 

“January’s data was a snap back to reality for anyone thinking the freight market was about to turn the corner,” stated Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “Bad winter weather in January likely hurt volumes, not to mention sharp drops in a number of drivers of tonnage including retail sales, housing starts and manufacturing output.” 

The index is based on an ATA survey of its members and focuses more on contract freight than the spot market.