FTR Extends Economic Forecasts to The Public Amid COVID-19 Chaos

With markets in disarray and much uncertainty on what will come next, FTR has focused the work of its team of freight experts and the Freight•cast™ forecasting model on providing unbiased outlooks and insights to more than just its clients. Starting earlier this week, the freight transportation research firm has published a series of reports that are now available to the public at As prevention steps and shutdowns due to the novel coronavirus continue to impact global markets, FTR will be updating this page and allowing open access to the intelligence it can provide to help businesses navigate this situation.

“The economy and freight transportation have been turned upside down, and it is more  important than ever to offer everyone an unbiased look at how we see the environment changing. The more information you have, the better decisions you can make,” stated FTR Chairman and CEO, Eric Starks. “We have been producing content to keep our clients in the know, yet I feel it is our responsibility to help everyone through this difficult time. This is why I have instructed the FTR team to provide as much content and analysis to the public as possible about the impact of this crisis.”

Key headlines from the reports available for download:

  • All sectors of transportation will feel dramatic effects from the coronavirus shutdowns.
  • Economic forecast moves sharply lower as many downside risks are already in effect.
  • Rail equipment is in for an extended downturn.
  • A sharp economic contraction will slam CV production.
  • FTR expects a recession, with major downside risks.


Additionally, Congress may be about to enact a $2 trillion rescue package. While this will certainly be a huge help to stabilize the financial situation for American families and businesses, FTR does not believe it will fundamentally change our forecasts for Q2. The aggressive containment strategies needed to contain the novel coronavirus will still depress consumption and industrial output in the near term. The scope of the package could position the economy for a stronger rebound beginning in Q3, but we will have to analyze the specifics of the final legislation to understand whether it will stimulate additional economic activity or just offset much of the financial damage caused by the pandemic and the response to it. More analysis and commentary will be provided and released through once available.