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FTR Trucking Conditions Index Continues Fall Towards Neutral Reading in February

04.18.19 | FTR

 
 
FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index fell in February to a reading of 1.71.  This is the lowest reading for the index since August 2017 and reflects the easing market conditions for this transportation segment.  Economic indicators linked to freight volume are generally weaker entering the new year and the rate environment in trucking continues to soften.  FTR projects the TCI measure to remain close to neutral throughout 2019 and into 2020.
 
Details of the February TCI are found in the April issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published April 1. The ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light’ section in the current issue analyzes a driver shortage commentary recently published on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website. 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.

Click here to view the latest release and an interactive graph of the TCI >


Avery Vise, vice president of trucking, commented, “We continue to see modest weakening in trucking conditions due to the near-term easing of freight rates and volumes, but we should remain generally above neutral during the coming year. However, we are close enough to neutral that negative TCI readings are now a possibility.”
 
The Trucking Conditions Index tracks the changes representing five major conditions in the U.S. truck market. These conditions are: freight volumes, freight rates, fleet capacity, fuel price, and financing. The individual metrics are combined into a single index that tracks the market conditions that influence fleet behavior. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. Conversely, a negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. The index tells you the industry’s health at a glance. In life, running a fever is an indication of a health problem. It may not tell you exactly what’s wrong, but it alerts you to look deeper. Similarly, a reading well below zero on the FTR Trucking Conditions Index warns you of a problem, while readings high above zero spell opportunity. Readings near zero are consistent with a neutral operating environment, and double-digit readings (both up or down) are warning signs for significant operating changes.

In addition to the Trucking Conditions Index, FTR has recently started releasing a weekly Trucking Market Update on the State of Freight Podcast. The weekly update is provided by FTR’s Vice President of Trucking, Avery Vise, and covers industry news and key indicators on a more frequent basis. To listen to recent episodes and download the indicators that are covered, go to www.FTRintel.com/podcast.
 

For more information on how to subscribe to Trucking Update, or other publications within FTR's Freight Focus, send an email to sales@ftrintel.com  or call (888) 988-1699 ext. 1 and follow us on Twitter @FTRintel.

Trucking Update, published monthly, is part of FTR’s Freight Focus and reports data that directly impacts the activity and profitability of truck fleets. As part of Trucking Update, FTR forecasts expected trends in this data and the probable short and long term consequences.
 
Click here to download a sample report >

About FTR
For more than two decades, FTR has been the thought leader in freight transportation forecasting in North America. The company’s national award-winning forecasters collect and analyze all data likely to impact freight movement, issuing consistently reliable reports for trucking, rail, and intermodal transportation as well as providing demand analysis for commercial vehicle and railcar. FTR’s forecasting and specially designed reports have resulted in advanced planning and cost-savings for companies throughout the transportation sector.