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US truck tonnage hits highest level since September 2008

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Seasonally-adjusted US truck tonnage increased by 2.2% in December after falling a revised 0.6% in November, according to the latest data from the American Trucking Associations.


ARLINGTON, Va. — Seasonally-adjusted US truck tonnage increased by 2.2% in December after falling a revised 0.6% in November, according to the latest data from the American Trucking Associations.

The latest improvement put the SA index at its highest level since September 2008. The not seasonally adjusted index was down 1% in December.  
 
Compared with December 2009, SA tonnage climbed 4.2%, which was higher than November’s 3.3% year-over-year increase. For all of 2010, tonnage was up 5.7% compared with 2009.  In 2009, the index plunged 8.7%.
 
ATA’s chief economist Bob Costello said that December’s improvement fits well with the seesaw pattern that many carriers are reporting. “Fleets continue to tell me that freight volumes are very choppy – up one week, but down the next. That is a trend that is likely to continue this year as the economy is not growing across the board yet.”  

Still, Costello said it was a positive sign for the economy that SA tonnage reached the highest level in 27 months. “I continue to expect truck freight tonnage to grow modestly during the first half of 2011 and accelerate in the later half of the year into 2012.”


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