FTR Associates’ Trucking Conditions Index for April, as reported in the June 2012 Trucking Update, moved significantly higher from the previous month climbing 2.7 points to a favorable reading of 9.1. 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.
Larry Gross, Senior Consultant for FTR, comments, “Volume growth is modest, but because the industry is not adding capacity, even modest freight growth is sufficient to support firm rates. Although there is a fair amount of volatility in the TCI from month-to-month, and we would not preclude some near-term decline, we expect an overall gradual improvement in trucking conditions through the balance of 2012 and into 2013. This is based on our expectation for higher rates, supported by continued modest growth in freight volume and tightening driver supply due to the implementation of new government regulations. Lower prices for diesel are another factor currently working in the truckers’ favor.”
The Trucking Update published monthly is part of FTR’s Freight Focus Series and reports data that directly impacts the activity and profitability of truck fleets. As part of the Trucking Update, FTR forecasts expected trends in this data and the probable short and long term consequences. The June Notes by the Dashboard Light discusses why the driver shortage has not been as severe as expected in the current recovery.