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FTR Trucking Conditions Index for December Spikes to Double-Digit Positive Reading

02.15.19 | FTR

 
Bloomington, IN (February 15, 2019) Following the November bounce back of FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index the December measure spiked to a reading of 11.46. The sharply improved December reading is a result of strong m/m growth in volumes along with a favorable fuel environment. However, FTR forecasts that this level will not be sustained in 2019 with readings falling back to the mid-single digit positive readings in January and moving steadily to more neutral conditions likely by Q4.
 
Details of the December TCI are found in the February issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published January 31. The ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light’ section in the current issue discusses the state of the spot market. 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.

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Avery Vise, FTR’s VP of Trucking, commented, “While we don’t anticipate truly negative trucking conditions at any point in 2019, we think we have seen the end in this cycle of the abnormally strong pro-carrier conditions that had held sway from the days following the 2017 hurricanes through the second quarter of 2018. December 2018 probably was just one last taste of the good ol’ days of six months ago.”
 
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.
 

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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.
 
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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.