According to a press release from the American Trucking Association, the harsh winter weather has negatively affected truck tonnage.
The ATA says that the seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage fell 4.3% in January. The January index equaled 124.4– in December, the index was 130.00. The index reached an all-time high in November 2013 (131.0).
“Like most economic indicators, truck tonnage was negatively impacted by bad winter weather in January,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The thing about truck freight is that it’s difficult to catch up. Drivers are governed by hours-of-service regulations and trucks are limited to trailer lengths and total weights, thus it is nearly impossible to recoup the days lost due to bad storms.”
Costello says January will be a tough month to gauge.
“January wasn’t just one storm, it was several across a large part of the country. Therefore, I wouldn’t panic from the largest monthly drop in two years,” Costello said. “I’ve heard from many fleets that freight was good, in-between storms. The fundamentals for truck freight still look good.”