Econintersect: The American Trucking Association (ATA) advance For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.7% (seasonally adjusted) in March 2011. This follows a revised decline of 2.7% in February 2011. Compared with March 2010, tonnage climbed 6.3% which is similar to YoY gains on USA Railroads (news here).
According to the ATA:
“Despite my concern that higher energy costs are going to begin cutting into consumer spending, tonnage levels were pretty good in March and the first quarter of the year,” said ATA Chief Economist and Vice President Bob Costello. Looking ahead, Costello said, “While I still think the industry will continue to grow and recover from the weak freight environment we’ve seen in recent years, the rapid spike in fuel prices will slow that growth.” Costello also noted that as long as U.S. manufacturing activity remains strong, truck tonnage will benefit.