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US truck tonnage softens in April; ATA not concerned

ARLINGTON, Va. -- US truck tonnage fell 0.7% in April after gaining a revised 1.9% (up from the 1.7% first reported) in March, according to the latest data from the American Trucking Associations.


ARLINGTON, Va. — US truck tonnage fell 0.7% in April after gaining a revised 1.9% (up from the 1.7% first reported) in March, according to the latest data from the American Trucking Associations.

Non-seasonally adjusted freight was down 8% in April compared to March.

Compared to April 2010, seasonally adjusted freight volumes were up 4.8%. In March, tonnage was 6.5% better than the same month the year before, ATA reports. The small setback should not be worrisome, ATA chief economist Bob Costello said.

“The drop in April is not a concern. Since freight volumes are so volatile truck tonnage is unlikely to grow every month, even on a seasonally adjusted basis,” Costello said. “I expect economic activity, and with it truck freight levels to grow at a moderate pace in the coming months and quarters.” 

“The industry, and the economy at large, should benefit from the recent declines in oil and diesel prices,” Costello added. “Lower fuel costs will help freight volumes and motor carrier bottom lines going forward.”


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