FTR Trucking Conditions Index falls in December

FTR Trucking Conditions Index falls in December

FTR says the drop was mostly due to higher capital cost and a deterioration in freight rates, a trend that could stretch into 2024.

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index for December 2023 fell to a reading of -4.31, down from -1.35 in November. Although the TCI was weaker in December than November, FTR says the index otherwise showed the least negative overall market conditions for carriers since May. December’s decrease was mostly due to a higher cost of capital and a deterioration in freight rates, and according to FTR, the outlook remains below neutral market conditions through 2024.

“We finally see indications that larger carriers are no longer absorbing the bulk of driver capacity displaced by failing small carriers, suggesting a steady tightening of capacity that eventually could spark a turn in the market,” commented Avery Vise, FTR’s vice president of trucking. “If the recent upturn in diesel prices continues, the capacity drain among small carriers might accelerate. Even so, the industry will need stronger freight demand, and we still don’t see any significant inflection in volume until at least the second half of this year.”

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