Consulting firm FTR reported that the US Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for January jumped 2.2 points from the previous month to a new reading of 10.6.
According to FTR, the upward trend in the TCI reflects improved freight growth and expectation for tighter capacity and is forecast to continue at a high level as unprecedented regulations affecting trucking utilisation go into effect starting in mid-2013.
“Conditions through 2014 will remain in strongly positive territory with trucking companies’ ability to raise rates in a tight capacity environment a likely scenario,” said Jonathan Starks, director of transportation analysis for FTR, “While the sequester is now in effect, we have seen enough indications of an improving economy to expect a growing freight market in 2013. 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.”
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 likely to be in a solidly favorable range for trucking companies.