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The American Trucking Association reported a .04% increase in truck tonnage for the month of March.  This was slightly improved from the revised 0.3% decline in February.  ATA reports:

“The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.4 percent in March, following a revised 0.3 percent decrease in February. The latest improvement put the SA index at 109.2 (2000=100), which is the highest level since November 2008.  The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 116.4 in March, up 19.1 percent from the previous month.

Compared with March 2009, SA tonnage jumped 7.5 percent, which was the fourth consecutive year-over-year gain and the largest increase since January 2005.  For the first quarter of 2010, SA tonnage was up 4.9 percent compared with the same period last year.”

The ATA’s Chief Economist Bob Costello is sounding more and more optimistic about a potential economic recovery:

“Freight is moving in the right direction and I continue to hear from motor carriers that both the demand and supply situations are steadily improving. For most fleets, freight volumes feel better than reported tonnage because the supply situation, particularly in the truckload sector, is turning quickly.”

Source: ATA