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

09.25.18 | FTR

 
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.


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


Avery Vise, vice president of trucking research commented,  “Carriers might not see stronger conditions in the current cycle, but they shouldn’t lose too much sleep over it. We expect the TCI to remain in double-digit territory into 2019. With manufacturing and construction hot and the labor market tight, it would be very difficult for capacity growth to outstrip freight demand for quite some time.”


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.
 

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.
 
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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.