BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Truckers remained at full capacity in May, according to the latest FTR Trucking Conditions Index.
An index reading of 11.4 reflected full capacity utilization, and FTR projects trucking conditions to improve further as the freight season enters its peak.
Total truckload rates are forecast to be up an estimated 13% this year, according to FTR. However, it projects trucking conditions to moderate in 2019 as more capacity comes on line. Even so, trucking conditions will still outpace recent years, FTR indicates.
“Key indicators of freight demand such as manufacturing and construction remain strong,” said FTR vice-president of trucking research, Avery Vise. “Aside from any major negative impacts due to trade relations, which is difficult to forecast at this stage, freight demand should lead to even stronger trucking conditions in the near term. On the other hand, despite aggressive recruiting, a very tight labor market has allowed trucking companies to add only modestly to the driver force, keeping the industry at full active utilization. Therefore, two critical external factors in coming months will be trade and the labor market. Another factor will be the fuel environment as the direction of diesel and crude prices is unclear. Fuel pricing has risen a couple of times recently only to moderate slightly each time.”