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Orders & Indices

10.16.18

FTR Trucking Conditions Index for August Declines But Remains in Strong Positive Territory

Although FTR’s August Trucking Conditions Index at a reading of 10.24 fell from the very high reading of the previous month, it continues to reflect a very positive carrier environment. The moderation in the August TCI reflects some freight rate stabilization and continued incremental capacity additions. Freight demand remains quite strong and the TCI is forecast to hold up at the current level for the next year or more.

Details of the August TCI are found in the October issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published September 28, 2018. The ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light’ section in the current issue offers analysis on what a (unlikely for now) recession might look like in order to more readily recognize the signs and forecast how such a scenario might affect transportation providers and suppliers. 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.

10.16.18

FTR Reports September Preliminary Orders Shatter Previous All-Time Record

September trailers orders were a tremendous 56,000 units, exceeding the previous record from October 2014 by over 10,000 trailers. Orders continue to exceed expectations with September units 59% higher than August and up 133% y/y. Trailer orders for the past twelve months have now exceeded 400,000 units.

The OEMs opened up their order boards for the remainder of 2019 and the fleets responded with many large orders. Most of the order increase was in dry vans, but refrigerated van orders were healthy, as were flatbeds. There are still concerns about future raw material costs and component availability, but this did not hinder the fleets from ordering in huge numbers for future deliveries.

10.03.18

FTR Reports North American Class 8 Orders for September Continue Surge as Fleets Secure Truck Availability Throughout 2019

FTR reports preliminary North American Class 8 orders for September continued to surge, coming in at 42,300 units for the month.  The third quarter 2018 decisively set an all-time record with 146,800 Class 8 orders.  September Class 8 order activity was the 10th best month ever but with most of 2018 hitting all time highs, was only the 5th highest monthly volume this year.  Sturdy freight growth continues to strain industry capacity and fleets are placing orders a year out to secure new truck availability throughout 2019.  North American Class 8 orders for the past twelve months have now totaled 497,000 units.

09.26.18

FTR’s July Shippers Conditions Index Changes Little from June Remaining in Moderately Negative Territory

 FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for July at -9.9 did not move much from the previous monthly reading of -9.5.  While still in a very challenging environment, the measures used in computing the SCI indicate that the worst may be behind for shippers. Earlier in the year the SCI reading was in double digit negative territory.  FTR forecasts the index to moderate from this point forward until reaching the “least unfavorable” level on this cycle around mid-2019.  Key freight generators - manufacturing, construction, retail sales, and the inventories-to-sales ratio - remain strong with a positive outlook for the coming months.

09.25.18

FTR Trucking Conditions Index for July Reflects Strongly Pro-Carrier Environment

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) With the exception of a higher reading in February of this year, FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for July, at a reading of 14.04, reflects the strongest conditions the industry has seen since early 2004. This current growth cycle is stronger in duration than the 2004 period. FTR predicts that the TCI has peaked and will moderate modestly for the balance of the year. Key freight generators - manufacturing, construction, and retail sales - remain strong, with a positive outlook for the coming months. The forecast risk in the near term is on the upside if holiday retail sales outpace expectations.


Details of the July TCI are found in the September issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published August 31, 2018. The ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light’ section in the current issue provides an analysis of truck equipment additions and driver hiring at for-hire and private carriers to date in 2018. 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.

09.18.18

FTR Reports August Trailer Orders Set Record Outperforming Expectations

August trailers orders outperformed expectations coming in at 35,300 units. This is the second consecutive month of higher than anticipated trailer orders, with record August orders 27% higher than July and 141% y/y. Trailer orders for the past twelve months total 370,000 units.

Fleets continue to place their 2019 orders a few months ahead of schedule as most OEMs have opened up their order boards through the second quarter of next year. During August, some large fleets placed substantial orders for dry and refrigerated vans to reserve production slots for next year. Parts and component availability remains tight.

09.06.18

FTR Reports North American Class 8 Orders Continue at Record Levels in August

FTR reports that preliminary North American Class 8 orders for August hit another all-time high of 52,400 units, just surpassing last month’s total by 300 orders.  Class 8 orders were again exceptionally strong in the U.S. market, with most OEM’s racking up great order months. Orders were even m/m and up 153% y/y. Orders continue their hot streak in 2018. Six of the top twelve order months ever, have occurred in the first eight months of this year.  North American Class 8 orders for the past twelve months have now totaled 477,000 units.

Carriers continue to scramble to get enough trucks on the road to handle the robust freight growth.  The surging economy and vibrant manufacturing sector are stretching the logistics system to the limit. In some markets, goods are moving slower due to supply chain gridlocks, necessitating even more trucks to deliver goods.

08.27.18

FTR’s June Shippers Conditions Index Reflects Moderating but Still Challenging Environment

Bloomington, IN (August 24, 2018) FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for June at -9.5 improved by nearly three points from the previous month indicating the worst may be over for now. However, FTR cautions that conditions have not gotten that much better with rates still rising especially in the truckload sector. Total shipping costs for 2018 should be around 12% higher than 2017, with 2019 forecast to be up another 6%. Overall, there are some signs of stability coming into the market for drivers, capacity, and rates.