BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – U.S. trucking conditions remained positive in July as capacity tightened, according to the latest FTR Trucking Conditions Index.
Spot rates rose and the impact of an impending electronic logging device (ELD) mandate is beginning to be felt. FTR says the index would have increased more, but contract prices haven’t yet seen the same upward pressure as the spot market.
The spot market suggests near 100% active utilization of equipment. FTR says contract prices are expected to increase in 2018 as capacity further tightens, pushing the Trucking Conditions Index up further.
“The combination of multiple hurricanes, strengthening spot market conditions, and the final push towards ELD implementation means trucking is ready to shift into a higher gear,” said Jonathan Starks, chief operating officer, FTR. “Fleets are finally starting to talk positively about market conditions after being stuck in a relatively sluggish environment for more than a year. Spot rates were up double-digits versus last year before the hurricanes hit and have surged further since then. When you add in a slightly more robust economy, capacity reductions due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, extra freight for storm recovery, and productivity reductions as ELDs are fully implemented; that’s a market which gives fleets a reason to be optimistic as we head towards 2018.”