By Eric Myers
As I tend to do before writing this article each year, I look at what I wrote last year. I generally don’t make a lot of predictions, but I see that at the end of my article last year I predicted a moderate uptick in trucking metrics. At the time, I had no idea that we would have the political environment we currently have, but the indicators for a healthy trucking industry were there. Just as a broken watch is right twice a day, even I can be right about an industry that swings like a pendulum. The challenge is to know how fast we are swinging.
So, what is happening with trucking in spring of 2017?
Freight volume is up. The Freight Transportation Services Index, published by the Bureau of Transportation Statics, measures the amount of freight carried by for-hire carriers each month. Any number over 115 on the index is considered “good” and anything over 121 is considered “excellent.” Last year, only February and March saw the index go below 121; it hit 120.9 and 119.7, respectively. Freight volume has been strong for the last several years. The experts who I read say that volume should remain steady for the next several months with up to 6 percent growth.