Trucking Conditions Index for July Indicates Extreme Pressure on Available Capacity with Accompanying Rate Hikes


FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) increased to a reading of 8.49 for July, one of the highest points this year. The high values reflect rising prices and service lapses caused by the current capacity crisis. The TCI could go even higher this fall if the economy accelerates as expected. Truck utilization remains within 100 basis points of record levels meaning that any additional growth in the economy and associated freight will strain capacity even further, pushing shipping costs higher.

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

Jonathan Starks, FTR’s Director of Transportation Analysis, commented, “When looking at the truckload market, for much of 2014 it has been a tale of two markets with spot activity very strong, especially in rates. The contract market has been less robust but still showing signs of stress on capacity, costs, and rates. You can expect to see those two markets merge this fall as a shipper’s core carriers get further stressed and contract rates move higher. The public announcements of strong driver pay increases by fleets are a testament to this fact. Despite easing over the summer, spot rates are still elevated versus last year. Keep an eye on spot rate as we head into September as they will be an early indicator of capacity shortages and stress in the system."

Details of the July TCI Index are found in the September issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published August 29, 2014. The ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light’ commentary discusses the pending capacity crisis including the impact of the current driver shortage. 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 series 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.