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May 20, 2014 4:00 PM, EDT
April Truck Tonnage Jumps 4.8%
Tom Biery/Trans Pixs

Truck tonnage jumped 4.8% in April from the same month last year, the biggest gain this year, American Trucking Associations said May 20.

Its seasonally adjusted monthly index rose to a reading of 129.2. ATA uses the year 2000 as a 100-reading baseline.

Month-to-month, tonnage rose 1.5% in April, following a 0.6% gain in March.

The not seasonally adjusted index — which represents tonnage actually hauled by fleets — rose 1.6% in April from the previous month, to a reading of 131.5.

Year-to-date, tonnage is up 2.9% through April from the same period last year.

“April was the third straight gain in tonnage totaling 4%,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. Tonnage is off 1.4% from its all-time high in November.

“I’m pleased that tonnage has been making solid progress after falling a total of 5.2% in December and January,” Costello said. “April’s nice gain was better than the contraction in industrial production and the lackluster retail sales during the same month.”

ATA calculates the tonnage each month based on reports by its member trucking companies.