BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Trucking conditions improved in January, jumped 2.2 points from December to a new reading of 10.6 on the FTR Trucking Conditions index (TCI).
FTR officials say the upward trend in the TCI reflects improved freight growth and expectation for tighter capacity. FTR officials say they expect the TCI to continue at a high level “as unprecedented regulations affecting trucking utilization” go into effect later this year. Conditions through 2014 will remain in strongly positive territory with trucking companies’ ability to raise rates in a tight capacity environment a likely scenario, according to FTR.
“While the sequester is now in effect, we have seen enough indications of an improving economy to expect a growing freight market in 2013. As regulators impose the changes to Hours-of-Service rules in July capacity will further tighten to levels not seen since 2004. Eventually, carriers will have the ability to raise rates but their costs, especially in driver pay, will increase as well,” said Jonathan Starks, director of transportation analysis for FTR.
The Trucking Conditions Index is a compilation of factors affecting trucking companies. Any reading above zero indicates a positive environment for truckers. Readings above 10 signal that volumes, prices, and margins are likely to be in a solidly favourable range for trucking companies.