US transport market continues positive trend

Despite the potential for freight growth in North America to slow in 2014, research company FTR has reported the US trucking industry is currently in a positive state.

FTR's Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) reading of 9.97 in September continues to show a positive environment for trucking, counteracting uncertainty imposed on the US economy from the Government shutdown and an on-going budget debate.

Jonathan Starks, Director of Transportation analysis for FTR, commented, “Pricing acceleration has started to show up in the data but it is easily hidden from view because the year-to-year comparison remains weak. This weakness is due to the falling rates that we had during the first half of the year. Month-to-month rates started moving higher in July and August, which we fully expect to continue during the fall shipping season. Stronger growth and significant y/y growth, are likely to hold off until the spring shipping season. By that time fleets will have been dealing with enough capacity and driver issues to begin moving contract rates higher. Spot rates have already shown some of these signs.”

The TCI is designed to summarise a full collection of industry metrics, with a reading above zero indicating a generally positive environment for the trucking industry. Readings above 10 would signal that volumes, prices, and margins are likely to be in a solidly favourable range for trucking companies.

Image courtesy of Great Dane Trailers

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