FTR: Trucking Conditions Index shows weakness for carriers

A fever chart showing negative conditions in the trucking industry.

FTR's Trucking Conditions Index stays in the red for June, the company says. 

The marker fell to -6.29 for the month, down from the previous -3.75. The new reading reflects weaker market conditions for carriers, FTR says. Freight rates are down and all other key factors also shrank, making June's the most negative reading since November. 

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"Based on our assessment, for-hire trucking companies have already faced the longest period of consistently unfavorable market conditions since the Great Recession," says FTR Vice President for Trucking Avery Vice. "We expect negative TCI readings to continue for nearly a year longer and little, if any, improvement until 2024. As we have noted before, the challenges are not uniform as the current market is hitting small carriers much harder than larger ones, especially considering the recent upturn in diesel prices." 

The TCI tracks five major conditions in the U.S. truck market: Freight volumes, freight rates, fleet capacity, fuel prices and financing costs. FTR combines these metrics into a single index indicating the industry's overall health. A positive score shows good, optimistic conditions. A negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. Readings near zero show a neutral operating environment, while double-digit readings in either direction suggest significant operating changes are likely. 

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