Truck industry capacity is expected to remain tight through 2006 and 2007, according to a study by FTR Associates, Nashville IN. The continued strength in manufacturing and freight-producing sectors of the economy has led to strong truck use, FTR said.
Eric Starks, president of FTR Associates sees “We see truck capacity as tight as we’ve seen in recent memory," said Eric Starks, FTR president. "In this environment, freight carriers have been able to aggressively raise rates. While this is good for the trucking industry, it is countered in large measure by the escalating costs to operate. In addition to rising fuel, interest and equipment costs, and driver wages will continue to rise as a substantial shortage persists. We are currently estimating that there is a driver shortage of 87,000 drivers.”
United States Class 8 capacity in use has exceeded 90 percent over the last nine quarters while historically averaging 88 percent.
FTR forecasts total ton-miles to grow 2.1 percent in 2006 with the modal share for trucks expected to increase to 44.8 percent in 2006 and 45.3 percent in 2007.