Truck Tonnage Up 3.7% Overall in 2017 Reports ATA

by Jake Tully - Published: 1/23/2018

In providing continued reports concerning the state of the trucking industry as well as the state of freight, the American Trucking Associations reports that the advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire truck index was up 3.7% for all 2017, as compared with 2016.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) reports that this index increase of 3.7% was the largest annual gain since 2013 as compared to 2012 with a 6.1% increase.

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Additionally, the ATA reports that the non-seasonally adjusted index, representing the tonnage change hauled by fleets prior to factoring in a seasonal adjustment for December 2017 measured in at 3.4% below November 2017.

Bob Costello, ATA Chief Economist reports that the latter half of 2017 saw a strong period for freight and is likely indicative yet another strong year in 2018.

"Despite the decline in December, last year was a solid year for truck tonnage, especially during the second half of 2017," said Costello. "I remain optimistic for 2018 for a host of reasons, including a pick-up in factory activity, better housing construction, solid retail sales, and an expected shot in the arm from the new tax law."

The ATA reports that tonnage indexes have been calculated since the 1970s based off information provided by survey findings from ATA members.

According to the ATA, trucks in the United States hauled close to 10.5 billion tons of freight in 2016, with motor carriers collecting 79.8% of total revenue earned by all modes of transport.