Indicators: ‘Trucking Conditions’ improve again, suspended in neutral territory

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CCJ‘s Indicators rounds up the latest reports on trucking business indicators on rates, freight, equipment, the economy and more.

Market conditions for carriers, measured by FTR’s monthly Trucking Conditions Index, improved slightly in July. Cheaper diesel offset the negative impacts of freight demand and truck supply, pushing the TCI to its first positive reading since January.

Although some positive readings are possible over the next year, the outlook is for primarily negative to neutral readings throughout the time frame, says FTR.

“Although it has become common to hear dire warnings about the state of the trucking industry, the truck freight market as a whole is hardly collapsing,” says Avery Vise, vice president of trucking at FTR. “Rapid cooling from last year’s extraordinarily strong market certainly has left many weak carriers exposed, but freight volume and rates are holding up reasonably well – certainly if viewed in a longer-term context. Still, most of the near-term risks to our outlook are on the downside.”