ECONOMIC WATCH: 2019 truck tonnage choppy but positive

by Truck News

ARLINGTON, Va. – U.S. for-hire truck tonnage ended 2019 up 3.3% for the year, and saw a 4% increase in December from November levels.

The full-year tonnage results marked the tenth straight year of increases, but was about half the annual gain seen in 2018, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

“Last year was not a terrible year for for-hire truck tonnage, and despite the increase at the end of the year, 2019 was very uneven for the industry,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The overall annual gain masks the very choppy freight environment throughout the year, which made the market feel worse for many fleets. In December, strong housing starts helped advance the index forward.”

December’s seasonally adjusted tonnage index was up 3% year-over-year, preceded by a 2% y-o-y drop in November.

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