FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for December 2017 rebounded after a one-month lull in November to a strong 9.2 reading, reflecting a full capacity environment driven by continued strength in freight demand. FTR expects the index to remain elevated and even increase further in 2018. Trucking capacity is essentially maxed out, resulting in the strongest freight rates in years.
Details of the December TCI are found in the February issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published January 31. The ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light’ section in the current issue takes a close look at the Owner-Operator market. Along with the TCI and ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light,’ the Trucking Update includes data and analysis on load volumes, the capacity environment, rates, costs, and the truck driver situation.
Jonathan Starks, chief operating officer at FTR, said: “Fleets have been running very efficiently the past few years, with capacity utilization in the high 90% range. Couple this efficiency with increases in freight volumes and productivity hits due to weather and regulations, and it’s no surprise to the industry that the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 have been good for carriers.
“We are seeing robust orders for trucks and trailers, serious recruitment drives, and the type of rate increases which make these expenditures feasible. In terms of the overall economy and freight demand, we are looking at strong potential for further upside possibilities for carriers.”