FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index for October Jumped to Highest Level Ever Measured

12.18.20 | FTR

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index for October jumped to the highest level in the nearly 30 years captured in the data to a 16.17 reading. This record comes just six months after the lowest TCI reading ever recorded (-28.66 in April) during the initial phases of the pandemic.
October’s extraordinary market conditions resulted from a sharp increase in capacity utilization, a robust rate environment, and improving freight demand. While October might prove to be the peak in this cycle, FTR forecasts positive TCI readings at least through 2021.

Details of the October TCI are found in the December issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published November 30. Additional commentary discusses the confluence of factors that are spurring an unprecedented surge in newly authorized motor carriers. Beyond the TCI and additional commentary, the Trucking Update includes data and analysis on load volumes, the capacity environment, and rates. FTR also publishes ongoing publicly available analysis on the impact of COVID-19 on freight transportation at FTR’s COVID-19 intelligence.

Click here to view a Year over Year graph of the TCI >

Avery Vise, vice president of trucking, commented, "The big swing in the economy during the pandemic naturally produced a big swing for the trucking industry. Government stimulus, pressure resulting from extraordinarily lean inventories, and a shift in consumer spending toward goods instead of services have combined to restore a huge chunk of the freight demand lost this spring. Meanwhile, both typical and extraordinary stresses on the supply of drivers has driven up capacity utilization and fueled higher rates. Freight demand growth should moderate to a more sustainable level, but constraints on driver capacity will be hard to overcome until COVID-19 vaccines are widely available. The result should be a healthy environment for trucking even if freight demand were to prove a bit weaker than we are forecasting."

Read a more in-depth explanation of the Trucking Conditions Index > 

Weekly Trucking Market Update
In addition to the monthly updates on trucking conditions, FTR offers a weekly Trucking Market Update on the State of Freight Podcast. The weekly update, hosted by Avery Vise, covers spot market and economic indicators and major industry developments. To listen to recent episodes and download the accompanying graph package, go to

Three reasons to use our Trucking Update service

  • We provide you the data that directly impacts the activity and profitability of truck fleets.
  • Our economic and freight forecasts help you develop freight budgets and assist in rate negotiations.
  • The charts and analysis by our team of experts provide C-suite leadership with reliable industry summaries

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