DAILY NEWS Jan 24, 2014 8:15 AM - 0 comments

Trucking conditions soften, but remain in positive territory: FTR

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Trucking conditions in the US dipped in November, but remain in positive territory, according to the Trucking Conditions Index compiled by FTR.

The November reading of 7.01 was 20% lower than the month before, but still reflects a positive environment for truckers. The regulatory drag from hours-of-service changes is reducing capacity, FTR noted, adding the upside economics have yet to translate into real market tightness, mitigating a rise in the index.

“While we did see a slight dip in the (Trucking Conditions) index, the absolute level is still suggesting a relatively healthy trucking environment,” said Jonathan Starks, FTR’s director of transportation analysis. “We have also seen several positive indicators being reported in the industry during December and January that are making us slightly more bullish about the direction in the market as we enter 2014. Some of the recent data suggests a significantly tightening capacity situation in trucking. While some of the tightening is due to the storms that have plagued the US, it appears that the recovery in the manufacturing market, coupled with the Hours-of-Service regulations changes, are finally impacting the truck market as we have been predicting for several months. If this tightening continues it would be a significant boon for truckers, as they will finally have the ability to raise shipping rates.”

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