The monthly Trucking Conditions Index produced by FTR Associates spiked in September 65 percent over the August number before dropping slightly in October. FTR says it forecasts the Index to rise to double digit readings in the spring. The Index read 9.6 in September and 7.9 in October.
The Index takes into account factors that affect trucking companies, FTR says, and any reading above zero indicates a positive environment for trucking.
FTR says 2013 could be a great year for carriers: “The big driver affecting the Truckers Conditions Index is a sharp increase in capacity utilization,” says Jonathan Starks, director of transportation analysis for FTR. “Regulations adversely affecting trucking’s capacity to haul, especially the new H.O.S. rule in the pipeline for implementation, will cause an ever-tightening condition. When we add in the expectation of further freight growth we can see a possible crisis unfolding in late 2013 where there simply are not enough available hauling hours to meet shipping demands. These conditions put the carrier in the driver’s seat, allowing the trucker to choose what freight to haul and at what cost.