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May 7, 2014 3:05 PM, EDT
FTR Trucking Conditions Index Rises in March
Tom Biery/Trans Pixs

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index rose in March, reflecting extremely tight capacity in the truckload sector, the group said.

The index increased to 8.69 from 7.54 in February and is expected to remain at the March level for the rest of the year, the transportation forecasting firm said.

“Truckers should be feeling much better now that they have finally been able to use the ever-tightening truck supply to get much-needed rate gains. It looks like much of the supply-and-demand balance is coming back down to a more ‘normal’ level as shippers are finishing their spring freight season and the backlog of loads caused by the winter weather has largely subsided,” Jonathan Starks, FTR’s director of transportation analysis, said in a statement.

“The industry continues to be operating at much higher levels of utilization than we have seen in the past,” Starks said. “Recent data shows a strong uptick in economic activity, but it will be hard to know if we are merely playing catch-up from a bad Q1 or if there is some real sustained growth occurring.”