FTR Trucking Conditions Index slips but still sees growth

For January, the most recent month for which data is available, the TCI was 5.79, which is down from December’s 11.46, which marked a significant increase over November’s 5.84 and October’s 3.17.

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While not growing at the same rate as its previous edition, the Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) issued this week by freight transportation consultancy continued to point in the right direction.

 The TCI reflects tightening conditions for hauling capacity and is comprised of various metrics, including capacity, fuel, bankruptcies, cost of capital and freight.

 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 January, the most recent month for which data is available, the TCI was 5.79, which is down from December’s 11.46, which marked a significant increase over November’s 5.84 and October’s 3.17. FTR said strong sequential volume gains, as well as a favorable fuel environment paced those growth levels.

January’s decline was attributed to higher costs of capital, coupled with lower freight demand and capacity utilization, with FTR noting that January’s TCI level unlikely to be sustained for long as conditions are expected to moderate further toward neutral territory through at least the third quarter.

 “Trucking conditions in January were not the outlier that December conditions were, but the industry still enjoyed much lower diesel costs than had been the case for most of 2018,” said Avery Vise, FTR vice president of trucking, in a statement. “With diesel prices now rising and capacity utilization and freight rates easing, we would expect January to represent the high point for trucking conditions in 2019.”


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