FTR Trucking Conditions Index drops in May

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The FTR Trucking Conditions Index eased down two points in May to a reading of -22, reflecting the effects of continued overcapacity in the trucking industry. The index, contained in the June issue of the FTR publication The Trucker’s Dashboard, combines five trucking industry statistics into one metric measuring the overall health of the trucking industry.

The June decline breaks a string of three consecutive monthly increases as the industry struggled to come back from the disastrous fourth quarter of 2008. The current reading indicates that the industry remains in solidly negative territory, well below the neutral reading of 0.

“The improvement in the Trucking Conditions Index prior to June was a function of reductions in the interest rates that truckers are paying, as well as the general expectation that freight will stop falling later this year,” says Noel Perry, senior consultant and managing director of FTR Consulting Group, based in Nashville, Ind. “Further improvement in the index will require that freight volumes actually stop contracting and rates begin to improve. This will not occur for some months yet, and when it does, it will be a slow climb.”

The Trucker’s Dashboard is a monthly report for motor carriers featuring in-depth analysis of the trucking industry, including forecasts for freight, fleet utilization, trucking costs and pricing. Subscription information is available at www.ftrassociates.com.