ARLINGTON, Va. -- US for-hire truck tonnage rose 0.6% in February after increasing 1% in January, according to the latest figures from the American Trucking Associations (ATA). The 1% gain in January was revised down from a 2.4% increase the ATA reported Feb. 19. Tonnage has now increased for four straight months, an event which hasn’t happened since late 2011. Over the last four months, tonnage gained a total of 7.7%.
Compared with February 2012, tonnage was up 4.2%, just below January’s 4.6% year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2012, tonnage is up 4.4%. In 2012, tonnage increased 2.3% from 2011.
“Fitting with several other key economic indicators, truck tonnage is up earlier than we anticipated this year,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “While I think this is a good sign for the industry and the economy, I’m still concerned that freight tonnage will slow in the months ahead as the federal government sequester continues and households finish spending their tax returns. A little longer term, I think the economy and the industry are poised for a more robust recovery.”