A key measure of truckload capacity rose 8.8 percent last week, climbing for the second straight week after five weeks of sequential declines.
The Longbow Research Weekly Truckload Barometer is actually about 3 percent lower than it was a year ago, on a five-week moving average.
However, the index’s year-to-date average reading of 132.8 is still 31 percent higher than last year’s average reading for the same period, Longbow Research said.
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The weekly index indicates that truckload capacity, while tight, is relatively stable, which would support the findings of a recent Journal of Commerce survey.
The JOC found capacity at a group of six large truckload carriers rose slightly from the first quarter to the second quarter and was only 1 percent lower than a year ago.
However, the tractor count at the $10 billion group of carriers was down 4.1 percent from the second quarter of 2009 and 10 percent from the same period in 2008.
The company’s tractor capacity was 18 percent lower than at the end of 2006. Since the end of 2010, its tractor count dropped 1.1 percent, the survey found.
Longbow said the recent decline and rise in its weekly capacity barometer is consistent with seasonal patterns experienced across the nation last year.
The supply of available trucks contracted in May and June before rising in July. The weekly index measures available freight against available equipment.
Capacity was tighter in the Southwest, Mid-Atlantic and areas of the West Coast than in other parts of the country, the research firm said in its Aug. 9 report.