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Rail News: Intermodal

Trucking index reflects improved market conditions, FTR says


FTR Associates' Trucking Conditions Index for November rose almost two full points to 9.7, reflecting improving conditions in anticipation of a tightened trucking market for 2013.

The primary driver behind this year's market conditions will be increased utilization, with an additional one-time hit as a result of rebuilding projects stemming from Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast, FTR officials said in a prepared statement.

"We were forecasting an improved environment for trucking even before the [congressional] agreement 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," said Jonathan Starks, FTR's director of transportation analysis. "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."

The index is a compilation of factors affecting trucking companies. Any reading above zero indicates a positive environment for truckers, while readings above 10 reflect an environment in which volumes, prices and margins are likely to be a solidly favorable for trucking firms, according to FTR.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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