ANALYST: Trucking Conditions “Back Down To Earth”
Little Rock, Arkansas – Trucking conditions improved slightly in April, but still registered in negative territory on industry analyst FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI).
According to FTR, conditions for carriers reflected a -0.64 reading on its TCI, which measures the overall health of doing business for trucking companies.
FTR noted that economic indicators linked to freight are generally weaker, and it expects the index will remain in a narrow band of negative readings through 2019 and into the 2020 calendar year.
Avery Vise, vice president of trucking, commented, “Not that long ago, it seemed inconceivable that the good times in trucking would end, but here we are back down to Earth.”
Vise said that growth in manufacturing which he called “the most significant driver of trucking activity” has subsided.
Further, he pointed to residential construction remaining “stagnant” as a significant headwind for the trucking industry.
It wasn’t all negative though.
Vise did mention lower diesel prices, which now stand at a national average of $3.10/gallon, are helping to alleviate the slow down for carriers.
Vise also noted carriers are slowing their driver hiring which could “set the stage for firmer capacity utilization down the road.”