FTR Associated announced that its Trucking Conditions Index for February eased slightly in February to a reading of 5.9. FTR forecasts the February reading to be the low point for 2012 with strong month-over-month increases through the remainder of the year, as trucking freight volumes are expected to grow at rates topping 4 percent; this will put pressure on available capacity, allowing trucking companies to maintain or even raise rates.
The Trucking Conditions Index is a compilation of factors affecting trucking companies. Any reading above zero indicates a positive environment for truckers, with readings above 10 a sign that volumes, prices and margin are in a solidly favorable range for trucking companies.
“February is normally the softest month of the year in terms of trucking demand,” said Larry Gross, FTS senior consultant. “Reasonably favorable conditions for truckers during the winter slack season bode well for later in the year, as demand increases seasonally to more normal levels. We expect pricing power to remain squarely on the side of the carrier in 2012.”