FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for December as reported in the February 2013 Trucking Update came in with a reading of 8.38 reflective of the current good environment for truckers. By mid-2013 the TCI is expected to rise significantly, caused by market tightness from expected regulatory changes and steady freight growth. The TCI is a compilation of factors affecting trucking companies. Any reading above zero indicates a positive environment for truckers. Readings above 10 signal that volumes, prices and margins are likely to be in a solidly favorable range for trucking companies.
Jonathan Starks, Director of Transportation Analysis for FTR, comments, “Despite recent commentary from some in the industry, we believe that the fundamentals for growth remain intact and continue to expect a significant event occurring in July when the Hours-of-Service changes are set to be implemented. The amount of capacity that will be affected by the rules is enough for us to expect an impact on rates; however, outside of spot rates, we are unlikely to see it show up in the data until the end of 2013. If the economic recovery continues during 2014 we could see a very strong year for rate increases throughout the industry.”