The October FTR Trucking Conditions Index fell by more than three points from September to a reading of 5.06, but 2015 numbers have been better than expected and FTR is forecasting 3% or better growth for truck loadings in 2016.
FTR projected the index to decline through the end of the year. However, the forecasting service expects conditions to improve for truckers in 2016 as shippers become concerned with tightened capacity in the second half of next year.
Shippers are currently choosing capacity over cost savings due to low fuel costs. However, when the price of fuel begins to rise next year, FTR expects it to be difficult for trucker base rates. Trucking conditions are also expected to be affected by certain future regulations and rules.
“The trucking environment has slowed during 2015, but compared to recent history it is still operating at a reasonable level,” said Jonathan Starks, chief operations officer at FTR. “We expect conditions to improve as we move through the year as the market further prepares for tight truck capacity when the HOS, ELD, and speed governor rules are implemented over the next two years.”