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US truck tonnage settles in January after December surge

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- US for-hire truck tonnage plummeted 4% in January, but American Trucking Associations chief economist Bob Costello warned there’s no reason to panic.


WASHINGTON, D.C. — US for-hire truck tonnage plummeted 4% in January, but American Trucking Associations chief economist Bob Costello warned there’s no reason to panic.

The ATA’s truck tonnage index was coming off a strong December in which tonnage surged 6.4%. The contraction in January still puts tonnage 3.6% ahead of January 2011 numbers, the association reported.

For all of 2011, tonnage rose 5.8%.

“Last month I said I was surprised by the size of the gain in December. Today, I’m not surprised that tonnage fell on a seasonally adjusted basis in January simply due to the fact that December was so strong,” Costello said. He added December’s increase was the largest month-to-month gain since January 2005.

“I’m still optimistic about truck tonnage going forward. In fact, while many fleets said January was normal, they are also saying that February has been pretty good so far,” he said.


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