Money Monday: More freight, cheap diesel, improving rates push trucking conditions higher

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Updated Jan 24, 2015

In this week’s edition of Money Monday — diesel’s cheap and freight’s up, as are rates. All have combined to make trucking conditions strong for fleets.

Here are some of the key economic indicators from the most recent week:

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Trucking conditions right for carriers: FTR’s monthly Trucking Conditions Index moved higher in November, meaning even stronger conditions for carriers. Cheap diesel played a part in November’s increase, FTR reports, as did strong freight volumes associated with Christmas shopping season. FTR says it also expects trucking conditions to remain in the range generally associated with tight capacity. Capacity will increase this year, FTR says, as the loosening of hours-of-service rules should ease truck utilization. [/gttable]

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January TSI Graphic

Freight increases for fifth straight month: The DOT’s monthly Freight Transportation Services Index — a measure of the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry — rose in November for the fifth consecutive month. Trucking led the 0.8 percent month-to-month increase. The year over year increase in freight movement was 3.5 percent, the DOT says, and freight shipments as measured by the index reached an all-time high in November. Increases in employment in retail, along with increased manufacturing output and industrial production point, could push the index higher in upcoming months, the DOT says.[/gttable]