Don't forget the gift cards

Amid all the insanity surrounding this year's early switch-over to Daylight Savings Time, we heard about the direct impact of another sort of time shifting.

Offering an explanation as to why there was a "robust" 3.9% gain in freight shipments this past December, Bob Costello, ATA's chief economist, theorized this was the "result of more shipments later in the fall freight season than what we typically saw in the not-too-distant past. As retailers sell more merchandise in January due to the proliferation of gift card giving, this trend is likely to continue in the years ahead.”

Who could have imagined all those little credit-cardish gift cards hanging in racks by the cash registers of most (if not all) major retailers could so influence what gets hauled when in the nation's truck fleet?

Yet another example of how our economy is changing-- and how every ripple that gets stirred up washes up against trucking in some way.