BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Trucking conditions in the U.S. improved in December, with a strong 9.2 reading of the FTR Trucking Conditions Index.
The index reflects a full capacity environment, driven by continued strength in freight demand, FTR reported. The industry forecaster expects the index to remain strong, and to strengthen further, in 2018.
FTR says trucking capacity is “essentially maxed out,” resulting in the strongest freight rates in years.
“Fleets have been running very efficiently the past few years, with capacity utilization in the high 90% range,” said Jonathan Starks, chief operating officer, FTR. “Couple this efficiency with increases in freight volumes and productivity hits due to weather and regulations, and it’s no surprise to the industry that the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 have been good for carriers. We are seeing robust orders for trucks and trailers, serious recruitment drives, and the type of rate increases which make these expenditures feasible. In terms of the overall economy and freight demand, we are looking at strong potential for further upside possibilities for carriers.”