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FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index Drops in January Reflects Short-Term Weakness

02.01.15


FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for January dropped 34% month/month to a reading of 7.8, reflecting positive impacts from continued drops in fuel prices being offset by weaker inputs from freight rates, load growth, and capacity. FTR expects the index to maintain at a high level and move upward again in late-2015 as the industry begins to anticipate another round of regulatory drag. The Trucking Conditions Index is impacted when capacity utilization or prices change.


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


Jonathan Starks, FTR’s Director of Transportation Analysis, commented, "Despite the drop in the TCI from December to January, the index remains at a high level and is only slightly below the average score for 2014. A drop was expected since the December TCI spike was caused by the rapid drop in diesel prices. Diesel prices have now bottomed in early February and are beginning to rise slowly, adding 11 cents at the start of March. Diesel’s impact on the TCI will slowly subside in 2015 but stay positive, unless the volatile energy markets jump higher.

"The Market Demand Index (MDI) from truckstop.com highlights that the capacity situation is much looser than last year but looks to have bottomed recently and has tightened the last three weeks, hitting 16.21 the first week of March. While this is down nearly 40% from the polar vortex-affected 2014 it has jumped nearly 60% from its low in mid-February. I expect capacity to be more available during the spring shipping season since weather has been less disruptive and the HOS rollback has begun being implemented.”

Details of the January TCI are found in the March issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published February 28, 2015.  The ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light’ gives an update on the West Coast Port Settlement.  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.

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. 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.

For more than two decades, FTR has been the thought leader in freight transportation forecasting in North America. The company’s national award-winning forecasters collect and analyze all data likely to impact freight movement, issuing consistently reliable reports for trucking, rail, and intermodal transportation as well as providing demand analysis for commercial vehicle and railcar. FTR’s forecasting and specially designed reports have resulted in advanced planning and cost-savings for companies throughout the transportation sector.
 
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