FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index for December Shows Decline Ahead of Bounce Expected in 2017
FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for December declined from November to a reading of 2.9 reflecting soft conditions that have plagued the industry, especially in the second half of 2016. The January index will likely hit a nadir ahead of a hoped-for bounce in 2017. As detailed in the February issue of the Truckers Update, FTR is confident that trucking conditions are nearing an inflection point toward the positive, with a steady increase in capacity utilization that will tighten prices as we move further into the new year.
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 identifies risks in the current “risky environment.” Along with the TCI and ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light,’ 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, commented, “The U.S. economy remains on stable footing, but there are several risks that are creating uncertainty in the transportation sector. First on everyone’s mind is the potential for significant change with the new White House administration. The most anticipated issue for transport companies is trade, specifically among our NAFTA partners. There is potential for some very significant changes coming from tariffs and taxes. After working on creating a North American supply chain over the last 25 years, anything that significantly restricts trade flows between two of our biggest trading partners will create stress throughout the supply chain.
“The other key issue relates to the coming implementation of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). There is a chance that the administration or courts could severely curtail, or remove, this regulation, but the long-standing bi-partisan support for transportation safety regulations convinces us that this is an unlikely scenario. FTR will be keeping a close eye on how small carriers begin to implement this into their operations over the next 9 to 12 months, and how it is likely to affect changes in carrier capacity and rates.”
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