COVID-19 put a huge damper on seasonal travel and the entire U.S. economy in general last summer. Now that things are returning to pre-pandemic levels of activity, the forecast for the U.S. economy and the trucking industry for the upcoming months are projected to be very strong compared to 2019.
Looking at the Truck Tonnage Index, we see that even though April 2021’s tonnage decreased slightly from March 2021, it jumped 6.9% from April 2020. According to TT News, truck tonnage increased a seasonally adjusted 6.9% compared with last year’s levels. The monthly index equaled 114.7 in April, compared with 107.2 in April 2020.
American Trucking Associations, Chief Economist, Bob Costello explained that sectors including construction, manufacturing and retail are all poised for growth in the upcoming seasons. Costello says, “The index increased on a year-over-year basis for the first time since March 2020. Part of the reason for the gain was due to an easy comparison, when the index fell significantly in April 2020.” He went on to say, “Trucking’s biggest challenges are not on the demand side, but on the supply side, including difficulty finding qualified drivers.”
According to The Conference Board, we should expect a rise to 8.6% of Gross Domestic Profits (GDP) growth by Summer 2021 and a forecasted growth of 3.7% in 2022 and 2.9% in 2023.