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US truck tonnage down again in April, but better than in 07

ARLINGTON, Va. -- US truck tonnage was down again in April, but was 2% better than last April's totals, according t...

ARLINGTON, Va. — US truck tonnage was down again in April, but was 2% better than last April’s totals, according to the latest figures released by the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

The for-hire truck tonnage index tracked by ATA showed a 1.1% decline compared to the previous month. The association also readjusted the March figures to show a 1.7% decline from the previous month. It initially reported a 3.2% drop.

The increase over 2007 numbers marks the sixth consecutive month that US truck tonnage has increased year-over-year.

ATA chief economist Bob Costello said the latest figures, including the March revision, are encouraging but there are still mixed signals to consider.

“Truck tonnage hasn’t grown since January of this year on a month-to-month basis, suggesting the overall economy remains very soft,” he said. “With that said, the fact that tonnage is showing sustained year-over-year growth is positive for the industry, although part of the strength is due to easy comparisons from 2007.”

Costello went on to point out that the cost of fuel is a greater threat to the industry than freight volumes.

“Surging fuel prices are weighing heavily on consumers,” he said.

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