FTR's Trucking Conditions Index for April moved significantly higher from the previous month, climbing 2.7 points to a favorable reading of 9.1.
"Volume growth is modest, but because the industry is not adding capacity, even modest freight growth is sufficient to support firm rates," says Larry Gross, senior consultant for FTR. "Although there is a fair amount of volatility in the TCI from month-to-month, and we would not preclude some near-term decline, we expect an overall gradual improvement in trucking conditions through the balance of 2012 and into 2013.
"This is based on our expectation for higher rates, supported by continued modest growth in freight volume and tightening driver supply due to the implementation of new government regulations. Lower prices for diesel are another factor currently working in the truckers' favor."
The Trucking Conditions Index is a compilation of factors affecting trucking companies. Any reading above zero indicates a positive environment for truckers with readings above 10 a sign that volumes, prices and margin are in a solidly favorable range for trucking companies.