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FTR: Too Early To Tell How Trucking Will Fare in Trump’s America

Much has been written and said about how businesses – in the U.S. and internationally — will be affected by a Donald Trump presidency. But, like the election itself proved, no one really knows how things will shake out.

Long term, Donald Trump could possibly try to rework regulations that affect the trucking industry, says Jonathan Starks of trucking market research firm FTR. Shorter term, the American economy will continue to grow and “trucking will grow slowly with it,” Starks adds.

Every month, FTR issues a measuring stick of the industry called “Trucking Conditions Index (TCI),” and for September, TCI was at 5.47, a modest retreat from August.

“However,” the report states, “the overall positive trend in the index reflects the modest tightening in capacity as additional regulations take effect in 2017. This expected drag on capacity should improve pricing and margins for carriers through the end of next year.  The Trucking Conditions Index is forecasted to reach its peak in late 2017 or early 2018.

Explains Starks: “The presidential election results have created some uncertainty in the market, mainly due to the lack of political and legislative experience from President-elect Trump. There are certainly several areas where the new administration could make an impact on the marketplace – with regulations being the chief area of presidential power in that regard.

“We will learn more in the upcoming weeks and months as the administration’s team is finalized and the legislative and regulatory agenda is cemented. I wouldn’t look for any significant impacts to the U.S. economy until relatively late in 2017. The U.S. economy should continue to grow and trucking will grow slowly with it.”

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