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Extreme winter climate took a toll on truck tonnage in February, in accordance with American Trucking Associations.
The ATA For-Rent Truck Tonnage Index for the month declined a seasonally adjusted 5.9% to 110 in contrast with 119.1 a yr in the past, and fell 4.5% in contrast with January. That month, the index measured 115.2.
For functions of the index, the yr 2015 = 100.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello mentioned the February declines are extra a sign of the troubles trucking corporations confronted throughout winter storms that hit the nation final month than they’re an indication of weak financial situations. “February’s drop was exacerbated — maybe fully prompted — by the extreme winter climate that impacted a lot of the nation throughout the month,” Costello mentioned. “Many different financial indicators have been additionally comfortable in February because of the dangerous storms, however I proceed to anticipate a pleasant climb up for the financial system and truck freight as financial stimulus checks are spent, and extra persons are vaccinated.”
For nearly every week in February, giant elements of Texas and different southern states battled freezing temperatures, snow and ice that prompted extreme injury to the Texas energy grid and left thousands and thousands of individuals with out electrical energy. Whereas the ability has been restored, State School, Pa.-based media firm AccuWeather Inc. estimates the storm’s complete financial injury at $130 billion in Texas alone. That determine is up from its earlier estimate of between $50 billion to $60 billion. For your entire nation, it estimates $155 billion in losses.
“In February, we noticed probably the most intensely chilly and stormy patterns of winter climate not seen in many years, with excessive document low temperatures and ice unfold out throughout a really giant space in a number of states,” AccuWeather CEO Joel Myers mentioned in a press release.
He famous that Texas “bore the brunt of the affect,” with lives misplaced, energy outages, water disruptions, burst pipes and, from a enterprise perspective, destroyed citrus crops.
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Whereas FedEx Corp. introduced document fiscal third-quarter earnings on March 19, the Memphis, Tenn.-based firm famous the February climate took a $350 million chunk out of its working earnings as storms impacted operations at its Memphis headquarters and FedEx Categorical hubs in North Texas and Indianapolis.
Costello advised Transport Subjects on March 18 that he’s particularly optimistic in regards to the prospects for the U.S. financial system within the second half of 2021. He’s forecasting the nation’s gross home product will enhance by 7%, up from his 5% forecast just some weeks in the past.
“We’re going to have some insane progress charges for GDP,” he mentioned. ATA’s For-Rent Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight, versus spot market freight. Trucking represents 72.5% of tonnage carried by all home freight transportation modes, together with manufactured and retail items, ATA mentioned. Vehicles hauled 11.84 billion tons of freight in 2019.
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