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Trucking Index for August up 1.4 points from July

Jonathan Starks, Director of Transportation Analysis for FTR, commented, “Setting aside the inherent economic risks at the moment, we expect the rate environment to improve for fleets as capacity tightens in 2013 when more stringent Hours of Service rules go into effect.

The Trucker News Services

10/5/2012

NASHVILLE, Ind. — FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for August, as reported in the October 2012 Trucking Update published Oct. 1, rose 1.4 points from July to a reading of 5.8.

The index has been in mildly positive territory, but without clear direction, since the economy weakened in early 2011, the report stated.

 FTR expects trucking conditions to improve in 2013 because of modestly better economics and a strong increase in capacity utilization stemming from added constraints on trucking from Federal regulations taking effect in mid-year 2013. The Trucking Conditions Index is a compilation of factors affecting trucking companies. Any reading above zero indicates a positive environment for truckers. Readings above 10 signal that volumes, prices, and margins are in a solidly favorable range for trucking companies.

Jonathan Starks, Director of Transportation Analysis for FTR, commented, “Setting aside the inherent economic risks at the moment, we expect the rate environment to improve for fleets as capacity tightens in 2013 when more stringent Hours of Service rules go into effect.

This will also have the effect of worsening the driver shortage, moving the situation from the currently “tight-but-manageable” level towards a more acute shortage, similar to that experienced back in 2004, when the last major rule change went into effect. Importantly, truck fleets will also need to keep a keen eye on the economic environment heading into 2013 because a major downshift in growth would have major negative implications on margins just as the new tranche of HOS regulations go into effect.”

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. October’s Notes by the Dashboard Light commentary discusses two Washington agendas, the national debt and regulations that have implications for trucking.

FTR Associates, located in Nashville, Ind., has been a leader in transportation forecasting for over 20 years. The company’s U.S. Freight Model collects and analyzes all data likely to impact freight movement and is based on specific characteristics for over 200 commodity groups.

FTR Associates’ forecast reports cover trucking and rail transportation and include demand analysis for commercial vehicle as well as railcar. Specially designed reports are offered to participants in both industries to cover specific needs.

For more information about the work of FTR Associates, visit www.ftrassociates.com or call Helen Lile at (888) 988-1699 ext. 45.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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