FTR's Trucking Conditions Index for November rose almost two full points to a reading of 9.7.
The gain was expected by FTR as conditions impacting trucking will continue to improve in anticipation of a tightened market in 2013.
The primary driver will be increased utilization, with an additional one-time hit from Sandy rebuilding efforts.
The Trucking Conditions Index is a compilation of factors affecting trucking companies. Any reading above zero indicates a positive environment for truckers. Readings above 10 signal that volumes, prices, and margins are likely to be in a solidly favorable range for trucking companies.
Jonathan Starks, director of transportation analysis for FTR, commented, "We were forecasting an improved environment for trucking even before the agreement just reached to avoid the 'fiscal cliff.' There are still political hurdles to navigate in early 2013, but the agreement takes some of the uncertainty out of business plans. We'll keep monitoring the economy closely to look for any renewed softness in demand, but for now we believe capacity will tighten during 2013."