FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for June, at a reading of 2.92, continues from the previous month in a low trough due to slow freight and a lull in new regulations. Even with negatives affecting the trucking sector, the reading remains above zero which is the break point between good and bad conditions. The TCI is currently forecast to rise into next year as the capacity constraining effects of new regulations are calculated in.
Jonathan Starks, Chief Operating Officer at FTR, comments, “While not overly positive, the June TCI reading of 2.9 indicates that trucking operators are still doing OK - not great, but OK. Trucking rates, especially for the dry van segment, have moved notably lower over the last nine to 12 months, but recent data indicates that both contract and spot rates may have hit bottom and could be moving back up. This would be a strong catalyst as we begin to enter the final preparations of the ELD mandate set for late 2017. We are hearing that many shippers, and fleets, are looking to implement technology well in advance of the due date in order to have time to mitigate any issues that arise from its deployment. We are also seeing that the extra capacity that was in the system following the 2014 reversion of the HOS [hours of service] rules has been mostly eliminated, and that any change in HOS or in improving economics could quickly tighten up the market like we saw in 2014.”