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U.S. trucking conditions remain favorable: FTR


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Trucking conditions in the U.S. were unchanged in May, with a positive reading of 7.01 for truckers, according to the FTR Trucking Conditions Index.

The index tracks six major conditions in the U.S. trucking market: freight volumes, rates, capacity, bankruptcies, fuel prices, and financing.

FTR says the spot market indicates trucking conditions are on the upswing, with active truck utilization at just below 100%. Spot market pricing and volumes have also been up year-over-year for several months, though contract prices remain weak. The freight environment remains strong, FTR reports, but economic conditions are fluctuating.

“We are now at the beginning of the third quarter of 2017, and spot market pricing is showing solid double-digit increases over last year,” noted Jonathan Starks, chief operating officer, FTR. “It is becoming increasingly clear that the weak pricing in the contract segment cannot be sustained for much longer. In reviewing data from the publicly-traded carriers’ first quarter reports, we have seen that there was no notable reduction in the carriers’ underlying costs. That means that rate increases will need to be forthcoming or margin compression will quickly impact their bottom line. The wildcard continues to be the ELD implementation at the end of this year. Capacity has already tightened, and the market will tighten further as full ELD implementation occurs.”


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