The American Trucking Associations' For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.2 percent in December.
According to the ATA's seasonally adjusted index, the latest improvements put it at 111.6 in December, which was the highest level since September 2008. In November, the SA index equaled 109.2.
Compared with December 2009, SA tonnage climbed 4.2 percent, which was higher than November's 3.3 percent year-over-year increase. ATA Cheif Economist Bob Costello says December's improvement fits well with the see-saw pattern that many carriers are reporting. "Fleets continue to tell me that freight volumes are very choppy, up one week, but down the next," Costello said. "That is a trend that is likely to continue this year as the economy is not growing across the board yet.
Trucking serves as a barometer for the U.S. economy, representing 68 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation. Costello said the SA tonnage reaching a 27 month high is a positive sign for the economy.
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