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January 24, 2014 10:30 AM, EST
FTR Trucking Conditions Index Dips in November

Business conditions for trucking worsened in November from the previous month but were still positive overall, industry analysis firm FTR said.

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index fell to 7.01 in November, a 20% drop, the group said.

“While we did see a slight dip in the TCI index, the absolute level is still suggesting a relatively healthy trucking environment,” Jonathan Stark, FTR’s director of transportation analysis, said in a Jan. 23 statement. “We have also seen several positive indicators being reported in the industry during December and January that are making us slightly more bullish about the direction in the market as we enter 2014.”

FTR has seen recent indications that trucking capacity has started to tighten, which could enable carriers to raise rates, Stark said.

“While some of the tightening is due to the storms that have plagued the U.S., it appears that the recovery in the manufacturing market, coupled with the hours-of-service regulations changes, are finally impacting the truck market as we have been predicting for several months,” he said.