FTR Associates reported its Trucking Condition Index at 0.8 for July and said the index is expected to remain in positive territory for the remainder of the year.
It was the fifth consecutive month the index had been above neutral. The index is a compilation of factors affecting trucking companies, and the readings over the last several months indicate a stabilized environment for the industry in general. The current index is showing a solid improvement from 2009 and is expected to continue on an upward trend through 2011.
In spite of weakening economic fundamentals, trucking continues to prosper as freight, capacity and rates edge higher. Some of the factors directly supporting the current positive index include a helpful economic mix with growth in the goods producing sectors, limited driver capacity and tightening capacity utilization with subsequent higher rates.
Eric Starks, FTR president, said, “Trucking companies that have remained in business through the downturn are now operating in an environment that is positive for them, albeit amid a slowing economy overall. All our projections indicate that they are likely to continue to do well through at least the next year and a half.”