FTR's Trucking Conditions Index for May fell markedly from the previous month to a reading of 5.1, down nearly four points, as reported in the July 2012 Trucking Update. April's strong performance was not sustained, and the TCI has dropped to the lowest level in six months.
This relatively weak performance at this time in a recovery reflects soft pricing results for Q1 2012 and the moderate levels of driver shortages.
"The weakening recovery is making itself felt in lackluster growth in truck freight demand," says Larry Gross, senior consultant for FTR. "Although carriers have been very disciplined thus far during the recovery, choosing not to add capacity, the lack of freight volume growth is constraining the industry's ability to raise rates. We still expect industry conditions to slowly improve from here as we progress into the second half of the year."
The Trucking Conditions Index is a compilation of factors affecting trucking companies. Any reading above zero indicates a positive environment for truckers with readings above 10 a sign that volumes, prices and margin are in a solidly favorable range for trucking companies.
The Trucking Update published monthly is part of FTR's Freight Focus Series and reports data that directly impacts the activity and profitability of truck fleets. As part of the Trucking Update, FTR forecasts expected trends in this data and the probable short- and long-term consequences.