FTR said its January Trucking Conditions Index reading of 8.82 reflects a “very positive environment for truckers.” The firm expects the index to remain high due to regulatory drag keeping capacity tight.
The 2.8 point increase in the index from December to January reflects the belated improvement in truckload rates that began last summer with hours-of-service changes.
Details of the January TCI Index are found in the March issue of the Trucking Update published Feb. 28, 2014.
“While freight certainly took a hit to start 2014 numerous other indicators are positive for the industry and line up with our expectations for the remainder of the year. Namely, the capacity situation for trucking was highlighted when the severe weather hit and capacity shortages started occurring,” said Jonathan Starks, director of transportation analysis. “These shortages illustrate that the industry has been operating with much less surge capacity available than in the past, and spot market pricing responded and has stayed elevated through much of February. If a late winter storm were to hit just as the spring shipping season heats up in March we could see another significant jump in TL pricing.”
The Trucking Update, published monthly, 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.