As most of you know, the trucking industry went through a tough time during the winter of 2008/2009. As of this date (3/26/09) truck tonnage is on the way up and is expected to keep rising throughout the quarter. In the big picture, freight volumes have gone up considerably in the past sixteen years according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and are expected to continue, despite the recent lull.
Despite the recent hard times in some sectors, 2008 was a great year, boasting a 3.6% increase in tonnage. Although December of 2008 and January of 2009 showed no notable improvement, February began the climb back up, with truck tonnage rising by 1.7%. More trucks went out of business in 2008 than any other year in history. (Not more trucking companies, but bigger companies with more actual trucks taken off the road.)
So, those that hung in there will reap the rewards later this year, when freight volumes go higher than trucks available. Remember, it’s all about supply and demand out there.