FTR Trucking Conditions Index for August Reflects Mediocre Environment for Carriers

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index for August, at a -1.11 reading, was negatively impacted by weak utilization and higher financing costs. FTR forecasts that the TCI will hover around the neutral range through 2020.

Active truck utilization edged down in August to 87.4%. Although FTR’s current outlook calls for a gradual firming, active utilization is expected to remain below the 10-year average of 91% through 2020. Freight-related indicators continue to diverge between the no-growth industrial sector and the still-growing consumer sector.  FTR’s loadings outlook is for a 0.5% increase in 2019 and 0.9% growth in 2020.

Details of the TCI for August are found in the October issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published September 30. The ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light’ section outlines the effects of global trade on the U.S. economy. 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.

Avery Vise, vice president of trucking, commented, “Although trucking conditions are weak, we believe that they have stabilized for the industry as a whole. However, larger carriers appear to be faring much better than small carriers, which are far more exposed to weak spot rates and to rising liability insurance costs. We might be seeing an accelerated shakeout of active capacity that could lead to firmer utilization and freight rates.”

The TCI tracks the changes representing five major conditions in the U.S. truck market. These conditions are: freight volumes, freight rates, fleet capacity, fuel price, and financing. The individual metrics are combined into a single index indicating the industry’s overall health. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. Conversely, a negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. Readings near zero are consistent with a neutral operating environment, and double-digit readings (up or down) suggest significant operating changes are likely.

To access charts suitable to accompany this press release, go to http://info.ftrintel.com/l/66642/2015-08-26/3bmqkr.

In addition to the monthly updates on trucking conditions, FTR offers a weekly Trucking Market Update in the State of Freight Podcast. The weekly update, hosted by Avery Vise, covers spot market and economic indicators and major industry developments. To listen to recent episodes and download the indicators that are covered, go to www.FTRintel.com/podcast.

About FTR

For more than 30 years, FTR has served as the industry leader in freight transportation forecasting for the shipping, trucking, rail, intermodal, equipment, and financial communities in North America. FTR’s experts, with over 250 years of combined experience in the transportation industry, provide quantitative analysis with historical and modal-specific insights. FTR’s reports, data, commentary, and insights help clients evaluate market risks, identify new opportunities, and make informed decisions.

FTR is the only company with a complete set of freight data for all modes of transportation with detail at the 3 Digit STCC commodity level. FTR tracks and forecasts 200+ unique commodity groups both quarterly and annually using their proprietary Freight•cast U.S. freight transportation model. FTR’s Transportation Conference held annually in September in Indianapolis is a unique event bringing together every aspect of the freight transportation world into one place. For more information www.FTRconference.com

To learn more about FTR visit  www.FTRintel.com, Follow FTR on Twitter @FTRintel and connect on LinkedIn. To contact FTR, call 1-888-988-1699, or email FTR@FTRintel.com.