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September 13, 2013 10:15 AM, EDT

Trucking Rates Expected to Rise, FTR Index Shows

Trucking rates are expected to rise this fall as capacity tightens on regulatory effects and improved freight demand, according to FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index.

The index increased 30% in July to a reading of 8.41, FTR reported Sept. 12.

“There still remains very little hard evidence of the impacts from the recent introduction of new hours-of-service rules on July 1, but anecdotal accounts and very early data are starting to show some potential impacts. Unfortunately, freight demand has remained lackluster with very little movement up or down outside of normal seasonal activity,” Jonathan Starks, director of transportation analysis for FTR, said in a statement.

TCI is designed to summarize a collection of industry metrics, with a reading above 10 signaling that volumes, prices and margins are likely to be in a solidly favorable range for trucking companies.

“Should any decent economic growth occur, it should quickly show up in truck activity and tighten a market that has very little spare capacity. The potential for an extremely tight truck market remains but is dependent on those external factors,” Starks said.