June 17, 2014 3:00 PM, EDT
ATA Truck Tonnage Index Rose 3.4% in May

Truck tonnage rose 3.4% last month, helped by growth in all sectors of the trucking industry, American Trucking Associations reported.

The trade group’s advanced seasonally adjusted index reached 129.7, remaining near the all-time record of 131.0 that was set in November. The index on a sequential basis rose 1% from April.

Saddled by weather-related declines earlier this year, tonnage has increased 2.9% for the year and risen in four of five months.

“I’m pleased at the direction of freight,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “While the year-to-date improvement is running behind last year’s robust 6.3% increase, gains this year are more broad-based.”

“It isn’t just heavy freight for sectors like tank truck and flatbed from energy and housing that are improving this year,” he added. “Now, generic dry van trailer freight is doing better as well, which wasn’t the case in 2013. This is a good sign for the economy. ”

The across-the-board gains in tonnage and volume included a 3.7% increase during April for all types of truckload freight, according to ATA.

The April index was revised down from a preliminary gain of 1.5% over March that was reported May 20.