Coming off a strong 6.4-percent surge in December, US for-hire truck tonnage dropped 4 percent in January.
According to the American Trucking Associations, the contraction in January still puts tonnage 3.6 percent ahead of January 2011 numbers, while for all of 2011 tonnage rose 5.8 percent.
“Last month I said I was surprised by the size of the gain in December. Today, I’m not surprised that tonnage fell on a seasonally adjusted basis in January simply due to the fact that December was so strong,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello.
“I’m still optimistic about truck tonnage going forward. In fact, while many fleets said January was normal, they are also saying that February has been pretty good so far.”
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that surface transportation trade between the U.S.-Canada reaching $44.2 billion, an 11.2 percent increase in December 2011 compared to the previous year.
Overall, surface trade between the U.S. and its North American neighbors, Canada and Mexico, was 11.6 percent higher.