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12.13.17

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index Spikes Upward in October

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for October, at 9.48, spiked upward from the previous month’s 3.5 reading.  A strong economy, combined with pressure from hurricane recovery and the ELD mandate, is creating a very tight market resulting in improved contract rates.  Although at a high level, the TCI has further upside potential during the first half of 2018.  This will likely be followed by softening in industry conditions in the second half of 2018 due to slower freight growth, albeit still equating to solid conditions for carriers.

12.07.17

FTR Reports November Preliminary Class 8 Orders Above 30,000 Units for Second Consecutive Month

FTR releases preliminary North American Class 8 net orders for November at 32,400 units.  This is the second consecutive month that Class 8 orders have surpassed 30,000 units.  November, with the expected order volume, was just 8% shy of very strong October activity but 71% above a year ago. Distribution of orders in November, similar to October, was not uniform across all OEM’s.  Orders for Canada did fall back somewhat after three impressive months.  The North American market continues to show strength and stability heading into 2018.  North American Class 8 orders for the past twelve months have now totaled 274,000 units.

12.01.17

JOC | Truckers Add Tractors as Demand Spikes

That increase in part is an easy comparison from a depressed truck market a year ago. However, truck orders on average nearly doubled in the third quarter, rising 62 percent year over year, based on FTR data, from a 33 percent increase in the second quarter. Year to date, 221,500 trucks have been ordered, compared with 184,686 for all of 2016, FTR data show.

11.30.17

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index Fall Further in September Impacted Primarily by Continued Hurricane Pressure on Capacity Utilization

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) fell further in September to a reading of -8.2 from the -6.7 in August.  Data from Truckstop.com shows underlying tightness in capacity that is steadily raising rates and some continued uptick from hurricane-impacted capacity utilization.  The pressure from the hurricane demand will abate shortly, which will somewhat improve the environment for shippers improving the SCI reading although it will stay in negative territory.  However, if the economy remains strong, there is a downside risk that capacity and rates will be even more negatively impacted with a falling SCI measure.

11.28.17

Trucks.com | Trucking Industry Sees Tesla Semi as Source of Disruption

Low diesel fuel prices dampen the economic need for alternative fuel vehicles, said Noël Perry, a trucking analyst with FTR Transportation Intelligence. The only expectation is in a handful of states where air-quality rules are driving truck electrification.

11.17.17

Trailer Body Builder | Kauffman Throws Some Rocks at Heavy Duty Equipment Forecast

He said FTR’s forecast of increases of 14% in trailers this year and 8% for next year, and 7% for heavy-duty trucks is “a colossal change in thinking, given what I’ve known about FTR over the years. It’s probably the first time that no one has the recession forecast.”

11.17.17

FTR Reports Preliminary Trailer Orders for October at 33,600 Includes Strong Demand in Vocational Segments

FTR reports preliminary October U.S. net trailer orders at 33,600 units, up 40% from August and up substantially y/y with a 65% improvement.  October order activity was vibrant and right in line with expectations.  Although there have been some indications the dry van market is softening, orders in this segment were steady.  Trailer orders have now totaled 290,000 units over the past twelve months.

11.17.17

CCJ | FTR’s Starks: Are 10 Percent Rate Increases Coming?

Starks’ cautious optimism on rates is driven by tightening capacity and strong freight demand fueled by a mostly positive economic outlook. “We are finally in uncharted territory,” he said. “We are going to haul more freight than we ever have in the U.S. market.” Starks points to 2006 as the year for peak freight. “Eleven years later we are again hitting peak levels,” he said.