FTR Associates’ Trucking Conditions Index for March, published in the May 2013 Trucking Update, reflected improvement in an already favorable environment for trucking, with an additional increase to a reading of 13.12, up from 12.9 in the previous month.
“With enforcement of the revised hours of service regulations now less than 60 days away, shippers and carriers need to be preparing for the change,” said Larry Gross, senior consultant for FTR, in a written statement. “Although there is still a chance that the court will issue an injunction, this becomes less likely with each passing day.”
“FTR estimates an overall productivity reduction of about 3 percent from the changes in hours of service, but this will vary widely depending on the characteristics of each carrier and shipper,” Gross continued. “Removal of 3 percent of trucking capacity should be enough to start rates on a solid upward trajectory.”
“If regulators continue to roll out the additional regulatory changes already in the pipeline and freight continues to grow at even a moderate pace, tight conditions could continue for several years,” he concluded.