Tuesday, April 24, 2018

34-hour rule suspension weakens trucking conditions index

Thursday, June 11, 2015
Lower fuel prices were a positive impact on the index in April.
Lower fuel prices were a positive impact on the index in April.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index for April fell 9 percent from the previous month to a relatively modest reading of 6.7.

The index weakened primarily because of the suspension of the 34-hour restart rule resulting in more available capacity and less pressure on rates.

Lower fuel prices were a positive impact on the index in April.

The future outlook shows an increasingly positive environment for truckers because of expectations of a tightening market as additional regulatory drag appears leading to a likely capacity crisis in 2017, FTR officials said.

"While still at a reasonably strong level, the TCI is indicating a moderating environment for carriers,” said Jonathan Starks, FTR’s director of transportation analysis. “Rate increases have pulled back over the last couple of months and, although still positive, will lessen year-over-year gains later in the year. Economic indicators still show a slow growth environment for both the economy and for freight. Load board data from Truckstop.com continues to show a return to normal activity following last year’s tight conditions. Shippers' desires to secure capacity should keep contract rates growing, but both contract and spot rates are susceptible to big drops if the economy is unable to accelerate after the weak start to 2015."

To access charts suitable to accompany this article, go to http://www.ftrintel.com/news/latest-tci.

For more than two decades, FTR has been the thought provider in freight transportation forecasting in North America.

For more information about the work of FTR, visit www.FTRintel.com, follow on Twitter @ftrintel, or call Ryan Beall at (888) 988-1699 Ext. 46.

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

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