FTR: Diesel cost spikes as TCI falls in February

FTR: Diesel cost spikes as TCI falls in February

With a nearly 4 point fall, FTR says a spike in diesel prices is mainly to blame for the deterioration in market conditions for carriers.

FTR‘s Trucking Conditions Index for February fell to -5.31 from January’s reading of -1.41. FTR cites a sharp increase in diesel prices as the principal factor in the deterioration in market conditions for carriers. With the recent increase in crude prices, FTR believes fuel costs could remain a drag on the TCI in the near term, but freight market dynamics likely will move gradually toward a less challenging environment for carriers.

“We forecast market conditions for carriers as measured by the TCI to remain negative but to steadily improve through the third quarter,” said Avery Vise, FTR’s vice president of trucking. “Trucking companies should see more favorable conditions in the fourth quarter and in 2025, although risks to a recovery are still significant. The industrial sector shows signs of improvement, and consumption has been solid. However, inflation and interest rates are still a concern. The biggest issue remains the imbalance between capacity and demand, which continues to depress utilization. Diesel prices are a wild card as an escalation might push out more operations that are struggling financially.”

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