FTR’s revised Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) showed a significant improvement in June but remained in slightly negative territory at a reading of -0.82.
Strengthening freight demand and lower diesel prices were offset by weak truckload rates and easing capacity utilization plus some higher financing costs that negatively affected carriers during the month. FTR’s forecast for the TCI is for it to remain in low single-digit negative range into 2020, but some positive readings are possible during 2019.
Avery Vise, vice president of trucking, said, “Although rates remain weak for carriers, they appear at least to be stabilizing. Meanwhile, freight demand appears firmer in recent weeks than in early spring, but the outlook is far from rosy given a softening industrial sector. Our biggest near-term concern, however, is the potential impact of the trade war with China on consumer spending and business investment.”
Details of the revised TCI for June are found in the August issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published July 31. The “Notes by the Dashboard Light” section in the current issue explains how FTR’s July 2019 Freightcast model update affects key FTR metrics on the trucking industry, including the TCI. 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.