March 6, 2014 11:30 AM, EST

FTR Trucking Conditions Index Increases in January

George Frey/Bloomberg News

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index rose to 8.82 in January, reflecting a “very positive environment” in the trucking business, the transportation forecasting firm said.

The index increased 2.8 points from December, due to truckload rate increases that started last summer with the hours-of-service changes, FTR said.

“While freight certainly took a hit to start 2014, numerous other indicators are positive for the industry and line up with our expectations for the remainder of the year,” Jonathan Starks, FTR’s director of transportation analysis, said in a March 6 statement. “Namely, the capacity situation for trucking was highlighted when the severe weather hit and capacity shortages started occurring.”

“If a late winter storm were to hit just as the spring shipping season heats up in March, we could see another significant jump in TL pricing,” he added.