Hauliers remain confident about their prospects in the third quarter, despite a weak performance for road freight during the three months to the end of June.

The FTA’s latest Quarterly Transport Activity Survey, compiled in July, found that despite predictions of a bounce in April, there was only modest growth in freight volumes in the second quarter amongst its members.

However, with  insolvencies in the sector having now reached a two year low, having dipped under  50 in the second quarter, sentiment is improving despite the struggling UK economy.

Most operators expect improved performance in the third quarter, with only those in Wales and the South-West forecasting a fall in activity.

FTA research analyst, Bruce Goodhart, says: “Hauliers continue to be squeezed by the effects of weak freight volumes as customers are affected by the slowdown in consumer demand.

“The mood of the country was lifted by Team GB’s success in the London 2012 Olympics and hopefully this will lead to an improvement in demand and the economy in the run up to Christmas ”.

As a consequence respondents expect to start buying trucks again too, after a softening in the market in the first half of 2012.

This October Commercial Motor Live will allow operators to ride and drive the latest truck models at the Millbrook proving ground.