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US truck tonnage begins 2011 on high note

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Truck tonnage in the US jumped 3.8% in January, following a revised gain of 2.5% in December 2010.


ARLINGTON, Va. — Truck tonnage in the US jumped 3.8% in January, following a revised gain of 2.5% in December 2010.

The seasonally adjusted index reached its highest level since January 2008 last month, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

Compared to January 2010, the ATA reported seasonally adjusted tonnage was up 8%, the largest year-over-year increase since April 2010. Tonnage closed out 2010 up 5.7% compared to 2009 for the full year.

Bob Costello, chief economist with the ATA, said the January gains were impressive, especially in light of winter storms that hammered much of the country.

“Many fleets told us that freight was solid in January, although operations were as challenge due to the winter storms that hit large parts of the country,” Costello said. He added that the latest tonnage numbers indicate that the economy is growing at a good clip early in 2011 and he expects a solid first half of the year. 

“At this point, the biggest threat is the recent run-up in oil prices, which could dampen consumer spending,” he said.


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