Truck tonnage decreased a seasonally adjusted 3.3% in March, according to the American Trucking Assn. (ATA). This marks a 0.4% decrease year-over-year, marking the first such decline since November 2001. This also follows a revised 2.9% drop in February.
Bob Costello, ATA chief economist, said the downturn in freight is a result of decelerating consumer spending. Higher energy prices appear to be affecting economic growth as well, but he projects tonnage will grow between 3- and 3.5% this year.
“We anticipated there would be a slowdown because the economy isn’t growing as robustly,” Costello said. “Our projected growth this year will translate into solid expansion for the industry.”