FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index spiked in July reflecting the pro-carrier environment that is likely to remain throughout 2018.
July’s TCI jumped from 11.18 in June to 14.04 in July, hitting the second highest point for the year and one of the highest readings since 2004, according to FTR. February’s TCI saw an all-time high reading of 15.05. For comparison, the July 2017 TCI reading was 5.75.
The Trucking Conditions index tracks changes in the U.S. truck market related to freight volumes, freight rates, fleet capacity, fuel prices, and financing and combines the metrics into a single score. A positive score reflects good conditions for trucking while a negative score represents bad conditions. FTR uses the TCI to show the industry’s health at a glance.
July’s TCI is likely to be the last high point for 2018 and FTR expects the TCI to moderate for the rest of the year. Manufacturing, construction, and retail sales all remain strong and are key freight generators. If holiday retail sales beat expectations, FTR could revise its outlook upwards.
“Carriers might not see stronger conditions in the current cycle, but they shouldn’t lose too much sleep over it,” said Avery Vise, vice president of trucking at FTR. “We expect the TCI to remain in double-digit territory into 2019. With manufacturing and construction hot and the labor market tight, it would be very difficult for capacity growth to outstrip freight demand for quite some time.”
FTR publishes the details of each Trucking Conditions Index in its most recent issue of the FTR Trucking Update.