Indicators: Shipper conditions improve, tonnage rebounds

Updated Sep 5, 2014

FTR Associates Shippers Conditions Index improved in October from September, but the research firm forecasts that conditions at the end of 2012 and into 2013 will worsen. A combination of tightening regulations on the trucking industry and untimely “fiscal cliff” negotiations will outweigh improvements in the housing market and lower energy prices, as well as overall economic growth, says FTR.

Similarly, though the American Trucking Associations’ For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index was up 3.7 percent in November over October, ATA predicts that if fiscal cliff negotiations stall or otherwise aren’t finished in time, tonnage could be impacted negatively, even though other indicators will be driving the Index positively.

However, ATA says that rebuilding efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy could drive tonnage, especially flatbed, in the spring.