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FTR Trucking Conditions Index Improves Slightly in April – Still in Negative Territory

06.12.19 | FTR

 
 
FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index rebounded marginally in April to a -0.64 reading. Conditions improved slightly from the previous month, but TCI remains in negative territory as the rate environment continues to soften. Economic indicators linked to freight are generally weaker, and FTR expects that the index will remain in a narrow band of negative readings through 2019 and into the 2020 calendar year. 
 
Details of the April TCI are found in the June issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published May 31. The ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light’ section in the current issue includes an updated analysis of the current trade situation and the impact it is having on freight. Along with the TCI and ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light,’ the Trucking Update includes data and analysis on load volumes, the capacity environment, rates, costs, and the truck driver situation.

Click here to view the latest release and an interactive graph of the TCI >


Avery Vise, vice president of trucking, commented, “Not that long ago, it seemed inconceivable that the good times in trucking would end, but here we are back down to Earth. Growth in manufacturing " the most significant driver of trucking activity " has subsided, and residential construction remains stagnant. However, there are some near-term positives, such as lower diesel prices. Also, carriers are responding to flagging demand by ending their hiring spree, which could set the stage for firmer capacity utilization down the road.” 

The Trucking Conditions Index tracks the changes representing five major conditions in the U.S. truck market. These conditions are: freight volumes, freight rates, fleet capacity, fuel price, and financing. The individual metrics are combined into a single index that tracks the market conditions that influence fleet behavior. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. Conversely, a negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. The index tells you the industry’s health at a glance. In life, running a fever is an indication of a health problem. It may not tell you exactly what’s wrong, but it alerts you to look deeper. Similarly, a reading well below zero on the FTR Trucking Conditions Index warns you of a problem, while readings high above zero spell opportunity. Readings near zero are consistent with a neutral operating environment, and double-digit readings (both up or down) are warning signs for significant operating changes.

In addition to the Trucking Conditions Index, FTR has recently started releasing a weekly Trucking Market Update on the State of Freight Podcast. The weekly update is provided by FTR’s Vice President of Trucking, Avery Vise, and covers industry news and key indicators on a more frequent basis. To listen to recent episodes and download the indicators that are covered, go to www.FTRintel.com/podcast.

For more information on how to subscribe to Trucking Update, or other publications within FTR's Freight Focus, send an email to [email protected]  or call (888) 988-1699 ext. 1 and follow us on Twitter @FTRintel.

Trucking Update, published monthly, is part of FTR’s Freight Focus and reports data that directly impacts the activity and profitability of truck fleets. As part of Trucking Update, FTR forecasts expected trends in this data and the probable short and long term consequences.
 
Click here to download a sample report >

About FTR
FTR has served as the industry leader in freight transportation forecasting in North America for the shipping, trucking, rail, intermodal, equipment, and financial communities for over thirty years. Our team of experts have over 250 years of combined experience in the transportation industry and leverage that knowledge to provide quantitative analysis with historical and modal-specific insights. The reports, data, commentary, and insights that FTR provides help our clients evaluate market risks, identify new opportunities, and make informed decisions.
 
FTR is well known for being the only company with a complete set of freight data for all modes of transportation with detail at the 3 Digit STCC commodity level. FTR tracks and forecasts 200+ unique commodity groups both quarterly and annually using our proprietary Freight•cast™ U.S. freight transportation model. Standard reports include both freight focus and equipment focus series as well as custom report options and premier consulting services to work directly with forward thinking businesses.