The most recent edition of the Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) by FTR Transportation Intelligence show that sharp decreases in freight volumes, utilization and rates could lead to the “worst overall trucking conditions on record during the second quarter of this year.”
The most recent final index reading was 0.96 for February, which was down from January but still slightly positive. Before the COVID-19 crisis in March, the TCI had been positive for three straight months, which had not happened in a year. According to FTR, a TCI reading above zero represents a, “an adequate trucking environment”, with readings above 10 indicating that volumes, prices and margin are in a good range for carriers.
“Although trucking conditions might prove to be comparable to the worst of the Great Recession, the trucking industry like the rest of the economy has never seen such an abrupt deterioration,” Avery Vise, FTR’s Vice President of Trucking, commented, “The need to restock grocery shelves provided a brief boost for some segments, but the economic shutdown now has taken a toll on the whole industry. While an economic restart likely will begin in May, the damage wrought during this period will weaken trucking conditions for months to come.”
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.