A still weak trucking environment was reflected in the most reflected in the most recent edition of the Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) issued this week by freight transportation consultancy FTR.
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 September, the most recent month for which data is available, the TCI reading came in at -2.94, which is at its lowest level going back to May, according to FTR. While this reading is low, FTR officials said that it does not forecast any further eroding of the TCI, with an expected near-neutral measure through the first half of 2020.
“The near-term outlook for trucking conditions remains stable with little growth expected in freight volume and no growth expected in active capacity,” said Avery Vise, FTR vice president of trucking, in a statement. “Risks to this outlook appear mostly negative, including the potential for higher diesel prices in the wake of impending changes in global maritime fuel requirements. However, the big questions are whether the industrial sector will improve or weaken further and whether consumer spending will remain a firewall against declines in overall freight volume.”
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