Trucking Industry Showing Signs of Economic Improvement

New York -- A recent 1 percent increase in tonnage has led some researchers and industry experts to believe that the trucking and transportation industries have found the "bottom" of the economic downturn and are on their way back up. According to some, the trucking industry historically has been the first to experience a slowing economy and, conversely, a growth in demand. Bob Castello, chief economist of the American Trucking Association (ATA), says the increase may be due in part to a drop in competition, which has led many trucking companies to close up shop in the last year and a half. But Castello adds that he has seen enough in the trucking industry to sense that a broader economic recovery could take place by early 2002.