June 5, 2014 11:05 AM, EDT
FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index Declines in April

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index fell below the recent trend line in April, reflecting short-term fluctuations, the group said.

The index declined to 5.91 from 8.69 in March, but the environment for carriers remains positive, the transportation forecasting firm said.

“Just as the truck environment continues to get back to normal, the revisions to the GDP data for Q1 gives everyone a moment of pause. How could we have had such a strong trucking market when the economy was apparently in decline? Part of the answer lies in the fact that goods movement was abnormal during this winter, and it likely led to a reduction in final inventories at many places.,” Jonathan Starks, FTR’s director of transportation analysis, said in a statement.

“Spot rates have leveled off but are still well above levels seen last year at this time. Contract rates, on the other hand, move up and down much slower as new contracts get slowly implemented over time,” Starks said. “Trucking looks to be on very solid footing and should continue to show growth throughout 2014.”