FTR Associates announced today that its Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for November (reported in the research firm’s January 2013 Trucking Update) climbed almost two full points to a reading of 9.7.

FTR noted that any reading above zero indicates a “positive environment” for truck operators, while readings above 10 indicate that volumes, prices, and margins are “likely to be in a solidly favorable range” for trucking companies.

The research firm stated that it expected the gain in the TCI given that “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 Hurricane Sandy rebuilding efforts.”

“We were forecasting an improved environment for trucking even before the agreement just reached to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff,’ pointed out Jonathan Starks, FTR’s director of transportation analysis.

“There are still political hurdles to navigate [federal spending cuts and dealing with the national debt ceiling]in early 2013, but the [fiscal-cliff] agreement takes some of the uncertainty out of business plans,” he continued.

“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,” Starks added.

The monthly Trucking Update is part of FTR’s Freight Focus Series and reports data that directly impacts the activity and profitability of truck fleets. As part of the Trucking Update, FTR noted that it forecasts expected trends in the data and the probable short and long term consequences.

For information on how to subscribe to the Trucking Update or other publications within FTR’s Freight Focus Series, email Clay Davis or call him at 888-988-1699 x 1.