FTR’s April Trucking Conditions Index, as reported in the June Trucking Update, fell to a reading of 7.57 from a March reading of 13.30. The primary factors driving the index down were an adjustment to FTR’s outlook for base shipping rate increases, as well as a further delay in the expected enforcement of new industry driver-related regulations.
The Trucking Conditions Index is a compilation of factors affecting trucking companies and has been rising steadily since October 2010. Any reading above zero indicates an adequate trucking environment, with readings above 10 a sign that volumes, prices and margin are in a good range for trucking companies.
“Although we saw a drop in our Trucking Conditions Index this month, it is still firmly in positive territory reflecting a continued healthy environment for trucking companies,” said Eric Starks, President of FTR. “We are seeing some weakness in economic growth which eases capacity constraints somewhat. In addition, the timing of new FMSCA regulations including Hours of Service modifications keeps slipping further out into the future, reducing projected pressure on the driver pool in the short run. These factors are lowering the ability for truckers to increase shipping rates. However, it’s important to note that we expect the environment for trucking companies to remain positive.”