Trucking market continues to head in right direction, says FTR
The current outlook for the trucking sector remains very strong, with no immediate change in sight at the moment, according to the most recent edition of the Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) issued by freight transportation consultancy FTR this week.
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The current outlook for the trucking sector remains very strong, with no immediate change in sight at the moment, according to the most recent edition of the issued by freight transportation consultancy FTR this week.
According to FTR, a TCI reading above zero represents an adequate trucking environment, with readings above 10 indicating that volumes, prices and margin are in a good range for carriers.
For March, the most recent month for which data is available, the TCI came in at 10.30, which is down from February’s 15.41.
While this is a 5.11 point decline, FTR said that is not indicative of a fundamental change in the current freight demand climate, as the March TCI remains more the three times above the March 2017 reading of 2.97. And FTR noted that the “carrier-favorable environment is not expected to see any real change at least through 2018 with even more positive conditions during the second and third quarter.” It also added that conditions for carriers are expected to stabilize at a high level into 2019 as fleets continue to add capacity and the supply-chain adjusts to the ELD regulation.
“While diesel prices increases are a negative for the carriers, the relatively modest uptick in recent fuel costs is more than offset by significant gains in pricing and overall strong demand for transportation,” said FTR Chief Intelligence Officer in a statement. “The Market Demand Index published by Truckstop.com and FTR shows that the spot market is once again tightening, rising each of the last four weeks to 58.1 in week 18. It is likely to hit new record highs as we approach the summer shipping season at the end of May.”
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