Trucking index “moderates”-- but remains “positive”

The Trucking Conditions Index, as reported in the June Trucking Update issued by forecasting firm FTR Associates, fell to a reading of 7.57 from March’s 13.30. The firm said an adjustment to FTR’s outlook for base-shipping rate increases and a further delay in the expected enforcement of new driver-safety regs were primarily responsible for driving the index down

The Trucking Conditions Index, as reported in the June Trucking Update issued by forecasting firm FTR Associates, fell to a reading of 7.57 from March’s 13.30. The firm said an adjustment to FTR’s outlook for base-shipping rate increases and a further delay in the expected enforcement of new driver-safety regs were primarily responsible for driving the index down.

“Although we saw a drop in our Trucking Conditions Index this month, it is still firmly in positive territory reflecting a continued healthy environment for trucking companies,” pointed out Eric Starks, president of FTR. “We are seeing some weakness in economic growth, which eases capacity constraints somewhat.

“In addition, the timing of new FMSCA regulations including Hours of Service modifications keeps slipping further out into the future, reducing projected pressure on the driver pool in the short run. These factors are lowering the ability for truckers to increase shipping rates. However,” he noted, “it’s important to note that we expect the environment for trucking companies to remain positive.”

The Trucking Conditions Index is a compilation of factors affecting trucking companies and has been rising steadily since October 2010. Any reading above zero indicates an adequate trucking environment with readings above 10 a sign that volumes, prices and margin are in a good range for trucking companies.

The monthly Trucking Update is part of FTR’s Freight Focus Series and reports data that directly impacts the activity and profitability of truck fleets. As part of the Trucking Update, FTR forecasts expected trends in this data and the probable short and long term consequences. For more information on how to subscribe to the Trucking Update or other publications within the Freight Focus Series, contact Helen Lile via email at [email protected] or call her at 888-988-1699, Ext. 1.

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