FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index measure for December rose more than two points to 10.88, and expects stable conditions for carriers to continue through 2016.
FTR forecasted that 2016 will be a year of placid conditions for trucking companies, with little or no change in the current trend of tight but adequate capacity.
According to FTR, the two events that could impact capacity utilisation are the weather, and if the FMCSA reinstates the Hours of Service changes.
“The trucking environment is still quite healthy. There is no doubt that growth has slowed for certain segments, and there are increasing uncertainties surrounding growth prospects for the U.S. economy,” said Jonathan Starks, Chief Operating Officer at FTR.
“However, contract rates are still rising, albeit slowly, and there is very little capacity that is exiting the system. You can see this in the Truck Failures figures that are reported by Avondale Partners as they sat near historic lows throughout 2015. Falling fuel is clearly helping cash flow for small carriers, but declining spot market rates are negating some of that improvement.
“Overall, the trucking industry seems to be in a relatively stable environment as we move into 2016.”