While predicting sluggish growth for the overall economy until the middle of next year, “trucking can do very well under these conditions,” said Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Association (ATA).
Costello said at the ATA’s annual convention that even better times are still to come, and added that this time next year “[the industry will] be on the cusp of some of the best years in trucking.”
Costello and his fellow economists predict that the recovery will remain “sluggish” until late 2011. However, he said that U.S. manufacturing will outpace the general economy due to an increase in US exports.
Scott Krugman of the Retail Association shared Costello’s sentiment, forecasting that the general economy “will be firing on all cylinders by the third of fourth quarter of next year, and 2012 an 2013 will be very good years.”
Even as the industry emerges from recession, it still faces “some of the most significant changing timers confronting trucking since deregulation,” ATA president & CEO Gov. Bill Graves told his members during the meeting’s opening session. CSA, hours of service, electronic logging, infrastructure investment, alternative power, driver pay and growing freight demand were among the list of issues “we’re expected to manage our way through,” he said.
Photo courtesy of Justin Russell and re-used under the Creative Commons license.