FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index for November 2021 rebounded from October’s 7.75 to a 10.0 reading for the month primarily due to steadier diesel prices. Slightly firmer freight volume and rates also contributed to the gain.
Diesel prices could continue to introduce some volatility into the index as prices declined in December but have risen sharply more recently. Even so, FTR’s outlook is for the TCI to remain in the same range as November through the first quarter and then settle into high single digit positive readings for the remainder of 2022.
“Although we continue to forecast a quite gradual easing of trucking companies’ robust market conditions beginning in the second half of the year, we certainly are seeing no signs of that happening yet,” Avery Vise, FTR’s vice president of trucking, said in a press release. “Freight rates continue to strengthen at least marginally as the spot market shows unprecedented resilience. Solid consumer spending and industrial demand should maintain a high floor on trucking conditions even if we see some modest gains in capacity and productivity.”