FTR Intel’s Trucking Conditions Index fell to a reading of 1.71 in February.
This is the lowest reading for the index since August 2017, reflecting the easing market conditions for this transportation segment. Economic indicators linked to freight volume generally are 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.
“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,” said Avery Vise, vice president of trucking. “However, we are close enough to neutral that negative TCI readings are now a possibility.”
Details of the February TCI are found in the April issue of FTR’s Trucking Update. The ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light’ section in the current issue analyzes a driver shortage commentary recently published on the US 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.
The Trucking Conditions Index tracks the changes representing five major conditions—freight volumes, freight rates, fleet capacity, fuel price and financing—in the US truck market. 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.