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US freight economy showing “signs of life”: ATA

ARLINGTON, Va. – US for-hire truck tonnage increased 2.9% in January, on the heels of a 4.3% contraction in December. The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) says its tonnage index was up 2.6% compared to January 2016. For all of 2016, truck tonnage was up 2.5%.

“The freight economy is starting to show some signs of life and January’s truck tonnage numbers are a good step forward,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “Hopefully the ups and downs in truck tonnage during 2016 will not be as pronounced in 2017. Looking ahead, the most recent positive sign for truck tonnage is the large drop in the inventory-to-sales ratio during December. The decrease put inventories throughout the supply chain, relative to sales, to the lowest level in two years.

There is no doubt that the inventory glut was a drag on truck freight volumes last year.”

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