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US truck tonnage continues upward climb

ARLINGTON, Va. -- US truck tonnage continues to climb, increasing 1.3% in June, marking the second consecutive mont...


ARLINGTON, Va. — US truck tonnage continues to climb, increasing 1.3% in June, marking the second consecutive month-to-month gain.

That’s 5.4% higher than June of last year, which marks the eighth consecutive year-over-year increase, according to stats released by the American Trucking Associations. June’s figures mark the largest year-over-year increase since January, 2005.

While anecdotal evidence collected from the ATA supports the increase, the association’s chief economist Bob Costello continues to warn against becoming overly optimistic that a turnaround is imminent. He said it’s still possible that the US will slip into recession.

“It seems that truck tonnage is once again leading the US economy,” Costello said. “During the 2000-2001 cycle, trucking pulled out of a recession before the aggregate economy fell into one. Unfortunately, truck tonnage could slow later this year as the overall economy is expected to be quite weak in the fourth quarter and the first quarter of next year.”

He noted that capacity has tightened significantly as carriers continue to fold due to high fuel prices. Other carriers continue to reduce their fleet size and some have exited the US market, opting to sell their equipment to foreign buyers. Costello said these trends are all likely to continue.


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