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Trucking conditions to improve next year: FTR


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Trucking conditions in the US pulled back slightly in October, ahead of expected market improvements in 2017, according to the latest FTR Trucking Conditions Index.

Current readings of the index are in low positive territory, FTR reports. It expects conditions to improve next year as capacity tightens from regulations being implemented. The effect will be improved margins and pricing for trucking companies through next year, FTR predicts. The index is expected to reach its peak in late 2017 or early 2018.

“Despite the pullback in the October TCI there is sufficient evidence in the marketplace to indicate a turnaround is in the works for truckers,” said FTR chief operating officer, Jonathan Starks. “The spot market has shown a dramatic change with posted loads showing a 40% increase in November versus last year. Combine that with the recent reductions in truck capacity that have finally occurred, and you arrive at a market that is set to see year-over-year rate increases for the first time since the second quarter of 2015.”

Currently, the index has seen 80-plus weeks of negative results.

“Even a small improvement will feel really good about now,” Starks said. “The change in administration at the White House creates some inherent uncertainty, but we will have a better picture of a Donald Trump presidency fairly soon. The biggest unknown is the impact of ELDs on the marketplace in 2017. If regulations are delayed or expunged, the impact on 2017 will be muted and pricing won’t be as strong as expected. However, the market is already showing a positive shift, and the negative pricing of the last two years is unlikely to last much longer.”