BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Trucking conditions in the US remained in positive territory in October, according to the most recent FTR Trucking Conditions Index.
The October reading of 8.53 fell slightly from September’s level, reflecting continuing strong fundamentals for trucking firms. FTR projects capacity to ease modestly in 2015, however with continued freight growth, rising rates and lower fuel costs, it expects the Trucking Conditions Index to remain elevelated through next year.
“Market fundamentals remain strong for carriers as we approach the end of 2014. Our expectations for the TCI are for it to maintain its current high level throughout 2015, as we continue to see a very positive market for fleets and drivers for at least the next year,” said Jonathan Starks, FTR’s director of transportation analysis. “Capacity is still tight, but not nearly as severe as early in 2014. FTR data indicates a drop of nearly 1.5 percentage points in truck utilization since the high of 99% achieved last winter.”
Starks pointed out contract rates continue to edge higher and spot market rates remain elevated over the previous year’s levels.
“Spot rates will come across tougher year-ago comparisons starting in December but are expected to remain elevated during 2015,” Starks added. “Fleets are feeling more bullish about 2015, and it is showing up in ordering activity for new trucks. Class 8 new truck orders hit their second highest level ever in October and fell only modestly in November. While we don’t expect much in the way of additional capacity coming into the system, the carriers are certainly trying to entice drivers, reduce maintenance costs, and enhance fuel economy.”
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