BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — After a spike to a 11.44 positive reading in December, FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index fell back to 5.79 in January as had been expected.
The January level was attributed to higher costs of capital along with lower freight demand and capacity utilization.
Even the January level will not be sustained for long as conditions for trucking are expected to moderate further toward neutral territory through at least the third quarter.
“Trucking conditions in January were not the outlier that December conditions were, but the industry still enjoyed much lower diesel costs than had been the case for most of 2018,” said Avery Vise, vice president of trucking. “With diesel prices now rising and capacity utilization and freight rates easing, we would expect January to represent the high point for trucking conditions in 2019.”
The Trucking Conditions Index tracks the changes representing five major conditions in the U.S. truck market. These conditions are: freight volumes, freight rates, fleet capacity, fuel price, and financing. The individual metrics are combined into a single index that tracks the market conditions that influence fleet behavior. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. Conversely, a negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. The index tells you the industry’s health at a glance. In life, running a fever is an indication of a health problem. It may not tell you exactly what’s wrong, but it alerts you to look deeper. Similarly, a reading well below zero on the FTR Trucking Conditions Index warns you of a problem, while readings high above zero spell opportunity. Readings near zero are consistent with a neutral operating environment, and double-digit readings (both up or down) are warning signs for significant operating changes.
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The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.