Whereas FTR’s Trucking Situations Index confirmed substantial enchancment in January, the index stays within the destructive. FTR’s present outlook is for constantly destructive TCI readings into the third quarter of 2024.
In January, FTR’s Trucking Situations Index rose to a -1.71 studying from December’s -6.1. Stronger freight quantity and charges partially offset weaker utilization and a gasoline value atmosphere that was not as optimistic because it had been in December.
January’s TCI may show to be the least unfavorable for carriers for some time, in response to FTR.
And whereas outlooks are pointing to destructive in the intervening time, swings in diesel costs might yield some outliers. Gas prices actually will probably be a optimistic contributor to the February index, FTR officers stated.
“Whereas total market situations for trucking corporations stay destructive, we nonetheless see diverse impacts amongst carriers based mostly on measurement and sort of operation,” Avery Vise, FTR’s vp of trucking, stated. “For instance, freight quantity within the van segments seems to be largely secure or higher after a decline within the second half of final 12 months, however extra specialised segments are anticipated to see continued weak point this 12 months.”
He additionally stated financing prices have been “a constantly destructive issue” for about 9 months because the Federal Reserve battles inflation with increased rates of interest.
“These prices have a tendency to harm smaller operations greater than bigger ones,” Vise stated. “The latest troubles within the banking sector have additional elevated the diploma of uncertainty because the financial system and freight markets transfer towards a post-pandemic norm.”
The TCI tracks the modifications representing 5 main situations within the U.S. truck market. These situations are: freight volumes, freight charges, fleet capability, gasoline costs, and financing prices. The person metrics are mixed right into a single index indicating the business’s total well being. A optimistic rating represents good, optimistic situations. Conversely, a destructive rating represents dangerous, pessimistic situations. Readings close to zero are per a impartial working atmosphere, and double-digit readings in both route counsel important working modifications are doubtless.