Each month, the FTR releases an exclusive Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) number which summarizes the industry at a glance. Septembers TCI was a positive reading of 9.07 which reflects very strong market trends. The TCI has moved up in the last couple of months and is expected to remain in positive and stable territory for the foreseeable future.
FTR anticipates little change in the TCI unless there is a change in the economy or increased regulatory drag on capacity. Details of the September TCI were released in the November issue of FTRs trucking update, published October 30, 2014.
Jonathan Starks, FTR's Director of Transportation Analysis, commented, "Spot market activity and rates have been easing, but this is to be expected at this time of year. Rates are still well above year ago levels and will stay that way until we lap winter conditions in January and February. The contract market is lagging on rate growth, but we still see a concerted upward shift over the last year. The combination of HOS changes in 2013 with weather events in 2014 was enough to move market conditions in truckers favor. Contract negotiations will take place during the winter slow season - we will see how much market clout the fleets are able to use. The real results will come later in the year. Successful shippers will be able to secure capacity and limit cost inflation by working with their carrier base rather than focusing on negotiating strength."