BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Trucking conditions in the U.S. improved in September, according to the FTR Trucking Conditions Index, which measures several metrics affecting the trucking industry.
The index climbed to a reading of 3.5, up more than two points from the previous month. FTR says a coming spike in the index will primarily be related to hurricane recovery efforts. However, it says going forward, the index should remain in positive territory through 2018 due to strong demand for truck freight.
“The trucking market is Cshowing multiple signs of strengthening. From surging order activity for new lass 8 trucks to spot market freight rates that hit 30% increases versus last year, trucking companies are displaying signs of improving conditions,” said Jonathan Starks, chief operating officer at FTR.
“Recent weakness in the TCI stems from two conditions that are not expected to last. First was the surge in diesel pricing that accompanied the hurricanes. While diesel prices have not come back down, they have slowed their upward trajectory – stable fuel prices are a long-term benefit to trucking, and surges upward are difficult to deal with since truckers don’t get paid for that higher priced fuel until the next load or the next contract. Second, and more importantly, contract pricing has finally started to show signs of awakening following nearly six months of strong spot price increases and the weather-fueled surges of recent months. While we have seen a moderation in the spot market environment over the last month, rates continue to be up over 20%, and capacity continues to remain tight.”