Trucking Conditions Improve, Year Looks Positive, says FTR

BLOOMINGTON, IN. — FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for January as jumped 2.2 points from the previous month to a new reading of 10.6.

That upward trend reflects improved freight growth and expectation for tighter capacity, FTR said, “and is forecast to continue at a high level as unprecedented regulations affecting trucking utilization go into effect starting in mid-2013.”

FTR expects conditions to stay strong through 2014, allowing trucking companies to raise rates.

“While the sequester is now in effect, we have seen enough indications of an improving economy to expect a growing freight market in 2013,” said Jonathan Starks, director of transportation analysis for FTR.

“As regulators impose the changes to Hours of Service rules in July capacity will further tighten to levels not seen since 2004. Eventually, carriers will have the ability to raise rates but their costs, especially in driver pay, will increase as well.”

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