Index shows continuing positive outlook for trucking

NASHVILLE, Ind. — For the fifth straight month, economic indicators for the trucking industry were positive in July 2010, according to transportation forecasters FTR Associates

The FTR Trucking Condition Index was pegged at 0.8 in July and is expected to remain above neutral for the balance of the year.

Nashville, Ind.-based FTR calculates the industry’s condition by measuring a number of factors affecting trucking companies. The company says its reading of the market over the last several months indicates a stabilized environment for the industry in general, and is a solid improvement over 2009.

“In spite of weakening economic fundamentals, trucking continues to prosper as freight, capacity and rates edge higher,” the company states, adding that the trucking industry is expected to continue on an upward trend through 2011.

“Trucking companies that have remained in business through the downturn are now operating in an environment that is positive for them, albeit amid a slowing economy overall,” says company president Eric Starks. “All our projections indicate that they are likely to continue to do well through at least the next year and a half.”

Some of the factors directly supporting the current positive index include a helpful economic mix with growth in the goods producing sectors, limited driver capacity, and tightening capacity utilization with subsequent higher rates.

FTR publishes a monthly Trucking Update as part of its Freight Focus Series, reporting data that directly impacts the activity and profitability of truck fleets.

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