FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index, as reported in the November Trucking Update, spiked 3.1 points in September to a reading of 9.2.
The Trucking Conditions Index is a compilation of factors affecting trucking companies and has remained in positive territory for the past eight months. Any reading above zero indicates an adequate trucking environment with readings above 10 a sign that volumes, prices and margin are in a good range for trucking companies, FTR says.
While improved, the TCI remains well below its recent peak of 13.3 achieved in March. FTR says tight capacity control, modest growth in truck tonnage and falling fuel prices helped improve the trucking environment through September.
“With regard to future trucking conditions, the major wild card will be when and if new federal trucking regulations, most particularly, Hours of Service revision gets implemented,” says Larry Gross, FTR senior consultant. “The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has recently announced a further delay in its schedule for issuing the new rule. When it finally does come out, the odds are that one or the other side of the debate will file suit.
“Then the question will be whether an injunction is issued staying implementation of the new rule. The current muted economic growth, if continued, should be enough to allow the TCI to continue to increase slowly from current levels. But if the FMSCA is in fact successful in implementing, new, tighter HOS regulations, this will drive the TCI significantly higher in the second half of next year.”
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. For more information on how to subscribe to the Trucking, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-988-1699, Ext. 1.