Trucking Conditions Index improves

The August Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) compiled from FTR Associates has improved over the July reading, the firm noted. August’s reading of 9.52 is over July’s 8.41.

According to FTR, the increase is expected to peak this fall before conditions deteriorate somewhat as the industry absorbs the impact of the hours-of-service rule changes. FTR said conditions for truck fleets will stabilize in 2014 until more information is available about FMCSA regulatory intentions for 2015.

The TCI summarizes a full collection of industry metrics, with a reading above zero indicating a generally positive environment for truckers. Readings above 10 would signal that volumes, prices, and margins are likely to be in a solidly favorable range for trucking companies.

The details of the August TCI Index are found in the October issue of the Trucking Update published Oct. 4, 2013.

“Prior to the government shutdown on Oct. 1, economic and industry data was pointing to a possible uptick in demand as we head into the final stretch of 2013,” said Jonathan Starks, director of transportation analysis. “The length of the shutdown and the outcome of the debt ceiling fight will play a big part in deciding if that acceleration is realized. We continue to expect a resolution to both issues prior to the debt ceiling being reached on Oct. 17; however, the longer this plays out the more difficult it becomes to see a solid agreement taking shape. While the shutdown is a tough pill to swallow in a slow-growth economy, the effects of not raising the debt ceiling would be much more dramatic and devastating. We are hopeful that a compromise solution can be crafted before that occurs.”

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