Fleetowner 33548 082318 Ftr Tci June

Tight capacity continues: FTR Trucking Condition Index

Aug. 23, 2018
Expect some stabilization due to added capacity and productivity enhancements in the segment in second half of year; however, trucking conditions will remain very strong over the next year or more

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for June, nearly unchanged from May at a reading of 11.18, is a reflection of trucking capacity that remains very tight. Conditions for truckers are at their most favorable during this period and through July with capacity crunch at its peak.

In the second half of the year, according to FTR, there will be some stabilization due to added capacity and productivity enhancements in the segment; however, trucking conditions will remain very strong over the next year or more, with TCI levels through the period above 2017 readings.

Details of the June TCI are found in the August issue of FTR’s Trucking Update. The Notes by the Dashboard Light section in the current issue discusses how a tight labor market could stifle growth because businesses cannot fill positions that are needed. 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.

“Conditions likely are approaching their most favorable for carriers in the current cycle, as additional drivers and trucks, as well as ongoing supply chain adjustments to tight capacity and electronic logging devices, should bring modest stabilization," said Avery Vise, FTR's vice president of trucking. "However, given strong manufacturing and construction activity, stimulus from government spending and tax cuts, and a very tight labor market, trucking conditions for the next year should remain stronger than at any point from 2015 through 2017.”

The Trucking Conditions Index 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 that tracks the market conditions that influence fleet behavior. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. Conversely, a negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. The index tells you the industry’s health at a glance. In life, running a fever is an indication of a health problem. It may not tell you exactly what’s wrong, but it alerts you to look deeper. Similarly, a reading well below zero on the FTR Trucking Conditions Index warns you of a problem, while readings high above zero spell opportunity. Readings near zero are consistent with a neutral operating environment, and double-digit readings (both up or down) are warning signs for significant operating changes.

About the Author

Fleet Owner Staff

Our Editorial Team

Kevin Jones, Editorial Director, Commercial Vehicle Group

Cristina Commendatore, Executive Editor

Scott Achelpohl, Managing Editor 

Josh Fisher, Senior Editor

Catharine Conway, Digital Editor

Eric Van Egeren, Art Director

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