REPORT: Trucking Businesses Get Bit of Good News as Freight Market “Hardly Collapsing”

Bloomington, IN – A new report by trucking industry analyst FTR Transportation Intelligence offers a bit of much-needed good news for trucking stakeholders.

FTR reports its Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for July improved slightly to a just above neutral reading of 0.28.

The TCI, which tracks changes in freight volumes, freight rates, fleet capacity, fuel price, and financing within the U.S. trucking market, took a tumble in February 2019 and has been in negative territory since.

 

As you can see from the chart below, trucking conditions bottomed-out in March, but have been on the rise each month since.

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index reached positive territory in July for the first time since January 2019.

FTR analysts said July’s reading was in part due to the lower cost of diesel fuel.

The report stated, “Lower diesel prices offset the effects of lower capacity utilization pushing the reading into positive territory for the first time since January.”

Avery Vise, FTR’s vice president of trucking, commented, “Although it has become common to hear dire warnings about the state of the trucking industry, the truck freight market as a whole is hardly collapsing. Rapid cooling from last year’s extraordinarily strong market certainly has left many weak carriers exposed, but freight volume and rates are holding up reasonably well – certainly if viewed in a longer-term context.”

 

Even with the recent improving trend, FTR analysts, including Vise, predicted the outlook to remain “negative or neutral” over the course of the next year.

However, Vise also predicted trucking stakeholders have likely already experienced the worst of conditions this year.

“Most of the near-term risks to our outlook are on the downside,” he said.

 


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