REPORT: Modest Improvement Coming for U.S. Trucking Market
Bloomington, IN – According to a new report, conditions in the U.S. trucking market weakened again in November, but analysts expect improvement this year.
The latest Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) report by industry analyst FTR Transportation Intelligence was not good news for trucking businesses as it declined to a reading of -1.58.
The TCI, which tracks changes in freight volumes, freight rates, fleet capacity, fuel price, and financing within the U.S. trucking market, dipped in November from its October reading of -1.04.
FTR analysts cited weaker spot rates as being primarily responsible for the continued softening in the trucking market.
Despite the decline, FTR expects market conditions to remain steady and in neutral territory until later in 2020, when conditions are expected to improve modestly.
Avery Vise, FTR’s vice president of trucking, says though conditions are “certainly not as good as trucking companies would like,” they are “not as bad as people may hear.”
Though 2019 was a devastating year with regard to trucking company failures, which topped Transportation Nation Network’s (TNN) list of biggest stories last year, Vise says it had more to do with skyrocketing insurance costs.
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“We continue to see many business failures, but the principal driver appears to be trucking insurance costs, not market fundamentals,” he analyzes.
While he acknowledges capacity utilization is “low but stable” and weakness in manufacturing has “dampened freight demand,” he credits solid consumer spending and improving construction activity for “holding up a floor on volumes.”
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