FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index for February hit its highest reading ever, reflecting an unmatched positive environment for carriers.
“For carriers, there is a feeling of ‘Let the Good Times Roll,’ and the data is backing that up,” said Jonathan Starks, COO of FTR. “We are approaching record-level spot rates, freight demand remains elevated, and the economy continues to grow at a good pace.”
The February TCI reading of 15.41 was the highest since FTR began tracking conditions in 1992, and makred a jump of four points from January’s reading.
Despite the incredibly positive environment, conditions could improve yet further through the second quarter of the year, according to FTR. The first quarter of the year usually exhibits weaker freight growth, but 2018 has so far bucked that trend.
Starks found that the only thing curtailing the current freight environment is a shortage of drivers. Rate stabilization and costs associated with labor and equipment could moderate the TCI readings in the second half of the year, FTR noted.
“We have had record levels of trucks and trailers ordered in the first quarter of 2018 and, as that equipment is delivered, we may see some of the capacity pressures relieved,” said Starks. “More likely is that freight demand will gradually slow over the course of the year.”