Forecasting firm FTR Associates’ January Shippers Update holds that the trucking industry is “currently in a stable phase with firm rates and modestly tight capacity, a situation that is expected to continue throughout much of the year.” What’s more, FTR noted, now that the revised hours-of-service (HOS) regulations are out, “the acute trucking-capacity shortage that had been expected to hit in 2012 has been postponed until 2013.”
In addition, FTR reported its Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for November dropped 2.5 points from the previous month to a reading of -6.1m which it said “reflects the seasonal tightening of shipping capacity.”
The SCI sums up all market influences that affect shippers. A reading above zero suggests a favorable shipping environment, while a reading below zero is unfavorable.
“The final HOS regulations recently issued by the FMCSA were not as onerous as originally feared,” pointed out Larry Gross, FTR senior consultant. “The enforcement date of mid-2013 provides plenty of time for the inevitable court challenges to proceed without imposing additional uncertainty costs on shippers and carriers.
“Nevertheless,” he continued, “unless there are further changes in this or other new regulations, or a major economic slowdown between now and the middle of next year, we still project a major capacity shortage in trucking for next summer.”
He also said the January Shippers Update includes commentary on the current status of HOS rules as well as some new truck data. For information on how to subscribe to the Shippers Update, send an e-mail to [email protected] or call 888-988-1699 ext. 1.