The most recent edition of the Trucking Conditions Index (TCI), which was recently issues by freight transportation consultancy FTR, showed that market conditions remain in a holding pattern, of sorts.
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 November, the most recent month for which data is available, the TCI reading was -1.58, a mile backwards step from October’s -1.04 reading. October marked an improvement over September’s -2.94, the lowest reading since May 2019.
FTR said that trucking conditions on balance are holding in a narrow window in generating slightly negative TCI readings, adding that that its forecast is expected to remain in near neutral range until an expected modest improvement in conditions later this year.
“Conditions certainly are not as good as trucking companies would like, but fundamentally they are not as bad as people may hear,” said Avery Vise, FTR Vice President of Trucking, in a statement. “We continue to see many business failures, but the principal driver appears to be trucking insurance costs, not market fundamentals. Capacity utilization is low but stable. Weakness in manufacturing especially has dampened freight demand, but solid consumer spending and improving construction activity are holding up a floor on volumes.”
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