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FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index September Reading Begins Expected Upward Trend

11.14.17 | FTR

 
FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for September, at a reading of 3.5, increased more than two points from the previous month. A coming spike in the index will primarily be related to Hurricane recovery efforts. Going forward, the strong demand for truck freight should keep this index in solidly positive territory through 2018. Although this recovery’s economic growth has been the weakest on record, trucking has grown at a better than 3% clip - consistent with stronger economics. If the economy maintains its current strength, FTR expects that the index has a good chance for upside potential in the coming months.

Details of the September TCI are found in the November issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published October 31, 2017. The ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light’ section in the current issue takes a close look at the recent GDP release. 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 >


Jonathan Starks, Chief Operating Officer at FTR, commented, “The trucking market is showing multiple signs of strengthening. From surging order activity for new class 8 trucks to spot market freight rates that hit 30% increases versus last year, trucking companies are displaying signs of improving conditions. Recent weakness in the TCI stems from 2 conditions that are not expected to last. First was the surge in diesel pricing that accompanied the Hurricanes. While diesel prices have not come back down, they have slowed their upward trajectory--stable fuel prices are a long-term benefit to trucking, and surges upward are difficult to deal with since truckers don’t get paid for that higher priced fuel until the next load or the next contract. Second, and more importantly, contract pricing has finally started to show signs of awakening following nearly 6 months of strong spot price increases and the weather-fueled surges of recent months. While we have seen a moderation in the spot market environment over the last month, rates continue to be up over 20%, and capacity continues to remain tight.”
 

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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.
 
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About FTR
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.