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Trucking conditions continue to improve: FTR

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- FTR has revised its Trucking Conditions Index to show increasingly favourable conditions for the trucking industry.


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — FTR has revised its Trucking Conditions Index to show increasingly favourable conditions for the trucking industry.

The June index was up more than 30% compared to May. Active truck utilization is moving up as the effects of the new US HoS changes have taken effect, FRT reported. The industry forecaster is calling for a 3% productivity reduction from HoS, but expects an even more significant hit to productivity to result from a collection of smaller regulatory rules that will affect industry productivity between 2014 and 2016.

Its Trucking Conditions Index factors in a variety of industry metrics, with a reading above zero indicating a generally positive environment for truckers. Readings above 10 indicate volumes, pricing and margins are in a “solidly favourable” range for trucking companies. June’s rating is 6.46.

“This month marks a large update to our Trucking Conditions Index. As the industry has struggled to implement reasonable price increases despite a high level of truck utilization, our index has incorporated a more complete picture of the carrier’s operating environment,” explained Jonathan Starks, director of transportation analysis for FTR.

“This has led to a lowering of the index but we still feel that carriers are operating in a positive environment. The onset of HoS changes is expected to tighten capacity further and should lead to a more robust rate environment as we move through the fall shipping season. The major factors in our anticipation of continued elevated levels in the index are capacity and rates. If volumes were too see an unexpected burst of activity this fall, it could be a decisive factor in moving the index to a level that would indicate more rapid acceleration in freight rates and margins. Those are important elements as costs have generally outgrown rate increases over the last year.”


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