FTR: Trucking conditions keep looking good

Industry research firm FTR Associates said its Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) climbed 2.7 points over March to 9.1 – a setting that supports firm truck freight rates, according to Larry Gross, a senior consultant with the company. The form noted that its TCI is a compilation of factors affecting trucking companies and that any reading above zero indicates a positive environment for truckers, while readings above 10 indicating freight volumes, prices and margins are in a solidly favorable range for trucking companies. “Volume growth is modest, but because the industry is not adding capacity, even modest freight growth is sufficient to support firm rates,” Gross noted in describing what the 9.1 TCI reading means for carriers. “Although there is a fair amount of volatility in the TCI from month-to-month, and we would not preclude some near-term decline, we expect an overall gradual improvement in trucking conditions through the balance of 2012 and into 2013,” he said. “This is based on our expectation for higher rates, supported by continued modest growth in freight volume and tightening driver supply due to the implementation of new government regulations,” Gross added. “Lower prices for diesel are another factor currently working in the truckers’ favor.” 
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