Stronger freight volume in April pulled up FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index

Stronger freight volume in April pulled up FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index

The outlook remains for negative readings through mid-2024.

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index for April improved two points from March to a reading of -3.88 due to stronger freight volume and a somewhat less negative environment for financing costs. Partially offsetting those improvements were weaker capacity utilization and a deceleration in fuel cost decreases. The outlook remains for negative readings through mid-2024.

“Our estimates and forecasts still show the truck freight market at close to its bottom, but the outlook remains quite weak. For example, we see almost no improvement in capacity utilization into 2024, which would keep freight rates soft,” said Avery Vise, vice president of trucking, FTR. “Some upside potential exists for better market conditions, including a stronger automotive sector and a deeper loss of driver capacity than we are forecasting currently, but trucking companies should not count on those developments. Freight demand might remain just strong enough to limit the number of drivers exiting the market, thereby keeping utilization weak.”

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