FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index rose to 7.1 in December, the highest level yet recorded during the current recovery.
As reported in the February Trucking Update, the TCI reflects tightening conditions for hauling capacity. Current conditions and strong prospects going forward are expected to steadily raise this index – possibly to a new record in early 2012. The Trucking Conditions Index is a compilation of factors affecting trucking companies, and the current readings as well as the forecast for the next few years bodes well for increased vehicle utilization and solid pricing power for carriers through the period.
FTR expects the delays in implementation of HOS and CSA regulations to push out the peak shortage timing to early 2012.
“We have been forecasting steady improvements for the trucking sector,” said Eric Starks, President of FTR. “Conservative fleet attitudes towards adding drivers and equipment combined with the continuing growth of freight means that trucking companies should see their equipment utilization nearing 100% later this year. As a result, carriers will have greater latitude to both raise rates and to be more selective with regard to freight. Despite the impact from regulatory drag being moved further out, improving economic conditions will help make 2011 a good year for trucking companies.”
The Trucking Update published monthly is part of FTR’s Freight Focus Series and reports data that directly impacts the activity and profitability of truck fleets. As part of the Trucking Update, FTR forecasts expected trends in this data and the probable short and long term consequences. For more information on how to subscribe to the Trucking Update or other publications within the Freight Focus Series, e-mail [email protected] or call Helen Lile at 1-888-988-1699, Ext. 1.