BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Trucking conditions in the US improved in August, but they could begin to deteriorate in the fall as the effects of the new hours-of-service take hold.
The FTR Trucking Conditions Index reached a reading of 9.52 in August, one full point above July’s reading.
FTR is expecting conditions to worsen somewhat this fall, but then to stabilize in 2014. The Trucking Conditions Index is a measurement of industry metrics. A reading above zero indicates a generally positive environment for truckers and readings above 10 indicate volumes, prices and margins are solidly in favour of trucking companies.
“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, FTR. “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.”