FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index’s Modest August Reading Does Not Tell the Whole Story

10.16.17 | FTR

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for August, at a modest reading of 1.41, is not wholly reflective of the current environment for truckers.  As reiterated in the October issue of the Trucking Update, the TCI primarily tracks the contract markets which have largely been unaffected by the current tightness influencing spot market rates.  In addition, the major disruptions from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had most of their impacts starting in September.

Details of the August TCI are found in the October issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published September 30, 2017. The ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light’ section in the current issue looks at the effects of recent hurricane activity on the market.  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 truck market is currently in the middle of a significant change in conditions. While the recent weather events made it feel like it happened all at once, spot markets have actually been moving in this direction for the past year. Load activity was rising, truck availability was falling, and rates were already up 20% y/y before the storms hit. Spot market rates are a leading indicator; and, although there is a lag, contract markets are starting to follow suit. Shippers are now taking notice and are getting worried about dealing with double-digit rate increases as we head towards bid season.”

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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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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.