NASHVILLE, Ind. — Trucking conditions continue to improve, according to the findings of the most recent FTR Trucking Conditions Index.
The index rose to a reading of 13.3 in March, up from a February reading of 9.92. The index is a measure of several metrics that affect the overall health of the US trucking industry.
A key driver for the improvement to the index was the ability of carriers to garner higher rates as industry capacity tightened, FTR Associates reported.
The FTR Trucking Conditions Index has been rising steadily since October 2010. Any reading above zero indicates an “adequate” trucking environment, while readings greater than 10 indicate volumes, prices and margins are in a good range for trucking companies, FTR says.
“During the first months of 2011, the fundamentals of the balance between the supply and demand for truck transport was obscured by the normal seasonal weakness in demand,” explained FTR president Eric Starks. “Now that we are moving into the higher freight months the dimensions of the capacity situation are beginning to come into sharper focus as we expected. Demand for truck transport is growing at a normal rate for this point in the economic recovery. Due to the continuing strength in the manufacturing sector we expect demand to hold up despite the temporary weakening of GDP growth. We believe that these fundamentals will enable trucking revenues to outpace the significant increases in trucking costs, including higher driver wages, fuel prices and more expensive equipment.”
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