Truck Drivers See Orders, Miles Fall In Latest U.S. Slowdown Signal | 1/16/2019 | Staff
elio25elio25 (Posted by) Level 3
(Reuters) – At a truck stop in Ridgefield, New Jersey, driver Paul Richards reviews a notebook where he tracks miles driven and what he is hauling. His paycheck is down about 25 percent from the same period a year ago, and his weekly miles have dropped as well.

“This hasn’t been a very good week,” said Richards, who carries building materials and recycled goods through the U.S. Northeast. “Last week wasn’t, either.”

United - States - Drivers - Operators - Industry

Across the United States, drivers, regional operators and industry officials say the $700 billion U.S. trucking sector slipped in late 2018, with the fall continuing into this year. While the decline in freight rates and hauling does not suggest the United States is headed into a recession, that softness is consistent with slippage in the economy as a whole.

The effects have been uneven nationwide, with weaker orders and miles in the U.S. Midwest and Southeast than on the West Coast, economists and regional officials said.

Accounts - Percent - US - Tonnage - Manufacturing

Trucking accounts for 70 percent of U.S. shipment tonnage, and is key to supplying the manufacturing, construction and retail sectors, all of which showed sluggishness in the first quarter. The most common factors for the decline include the U.S.-China trade war and weakness in the Farm Belt.

An ACT Research index of truck carrier volumes that surveys about 60 fleets crossed into negative territory in November for the first time since July 2016. It briefly returned to positive territory in January but dipped again in February. It matches forecasts for a soft first quarter for U.S. gross domestic product, which is expected to come in at 1.8 percent growth, according to Reuters polling.

Economy - Kenny - Vieth - President - ACT

“Clearly, the economy is slowing down,” Kenny Vieth, president of ACT Research, said in a recent interview. “When the economy moderates, the trucking industry can be exceptionally worse than the overall economy because of the...
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