The crazy weather continues to disrupt freight patterns. The American Trucking Associations blamed ice and snow for a decline in its tonnage index in January, and a slew of financial analysts are blaming the extreme winter weather for lackluster numbers in employment and consumer demand.
Weather-related aspects of the economic malaise are expected to be temporary. Railroad freight is a proof point. While rail freight volume declined in the snowbound East, it picked up on the West Coast, as Union Pacific saw an increase in volume and rates. The stock market is up and down, but the result has been a net positive for both the S&P and the Dow Jones indices.