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February Tonnage Takes Winter Weather Hit

Posted - March 26, 2021

Severe winter weather took a toll on truck tonnage in February, according to American Trucking Associations.

The ATA For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index for the month declined a seasonally adjusted 5.9% to 110 compared with 119.1 a year ago, and fell 4.5% compared with January. That month, the index measured 115.2.

For purposes of the index, the year 2015 = 100. The index is dominated by contract freight, as opposed to spot market freight.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said the February declines are more an indication of the troubles trucking companies faced during winter storms that hit the country last month than a sign of weak economic conditions.

“February’s drop was exacerbated — perhaps completely caused — by the severe winter weather that impacted much of the country during the month,” Costello said. “Many other economic indicators were also soft in February due to the bad storms, but I continue to expect a nice climb up for the economy and truck freight as economic stimulus checks are spent, and more people are vaccinated.”

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