FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) reached a three-year low of 4.91 in May after it dropped another 25%.
The drop comes from softer capacity, pricing, and fuel prices, FTR announced in a press release.
After the partial suspension for the latest hours of service changes, the tight capacity earlier this year has eased and FTR predicts the TCI will move up as the anticipated regulatory drag in 2016 and 2017 tightens capacity.
So far, improvements in productivity and fuel price reductions have kept costs stable, but fuel and labor costs should increase with the recovery maturing and put more pressure on rates in early 2016, FTR said.
“While the capacity situation has definitely eased since last year, it is still well above historical levels and should keep contract rates, at minimum, stable with a potential to grow stronger by early 2016. Overall, the market is stable, and we see that path continuing until we get into 2016, when recession and regulatory risks begin to rise significantly,” Jonathan Starks, FTR’s director of transportation analysis, said.