In 2022, Tonnage Rose 3.4%, Most Since 2018
by Staff, on Jan 24, 2023 8:23:00 AM
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.4% in December after decreasing 2.5% in November. In December, the index equaled 115.2 (2015=100) versus 114.8 in November.
“Despite the small gain in December, for-hire truck tonnage clearly decelerated during the final quarter in 2022,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello, who regularly speaks at FSA’s annual conference and is considered one of FSA’s most respected guest authorities on the trucking marketplace. “In fact, tonnage outperformed some other key metrics that drive truck freight, like housing starts and factory output during the final month of the year. This is probably because contract truckload freight is still outperforming the spot market and less-than-truckload freight after underperforming both of those sectors in 2021.”
For all of 2022, tonnage was up 3.4%, which was the best annual gain since 2018.
“Despite weakening in the second half, 2022 overall was a solid year for truck freight tonnage,” said Costello. “The index’s yearly gains were primarily driven by strength in the first half of 2022, so despite a marked slowdown as the year ended, for the year as a whole, tonnage posted a very solid year overall.”
Compared with December 2021, the SA index increased 0.3%, which was the sixteenth straight year-over-year gain, but the smallest over that period. In November, the index was up 0.8% from a year earlier.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 112.6 in December, 1.8% below the November level (114.6). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 72.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.93 billion tons of freight in 2021. Motor carriers collected $875.5 billion, or 80.8% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.
ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.
See month-by-month 2022 history in recent months:
- Truck Tonnage Slips 2.5% in November
- Truck Tonnage Index Slips 2.3% in October
- Truck Tonnage Rises 5.5% in September
- Truck Tonnage Increased 2.8% in August
- Truck Tonnage Decreased 1.1% in July
- Truck Tonnage Increases 2.7% in June
- Truck Tonnage Jumps 3.7% in May
- Truck Tonnage Index Falls 2% in April
- Truck Tonnage Rises Nearly 4% in March
Like this kind of content? Subscribe to our "Food For Thought" eNewsletter!
Now more than ever, professionals consume info on the go. Distributed twice monthly, our "Food For Thought" e-newsletter allows readers to stay informed about timely and relevant industry topics and FSA news whether they're in the office or on the road. Topics range from capacity, rates and supply chain disruption to multimodal transportation strategy, leveraging technology, and talent management and retention. Learn More