FTR Trucking Conditions Index in May is in line with previous months

Trucking conditions in May remained on a similar track as April, according to the Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) released today by freight transportation consultancy FTR Associates.

By ·

Trucking conditions in May remained in line with April, according to the Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) released today by freight transportation consultancy FTR Associates.

In the TCI report, FTR said its reading for May was 12.4. The TCI reflects tightening conditions for hauling capacity and is comprised of various metrics, including capacity, fuel, bankruptcies, cost of capital, and freight.

According to FTR, a TCI reading above zero represents an adequate trucking environment, with readings above ten indicating that volumes, prices, and margin are in a good range for carriers. May represents the fifth straight month that the TCI has been above ten, with March and April coming in at 13.12 and 13.8, respectively.

“The trucking industry has seemingly been stuck in a holding pattern for the last year or so,” said Jonathan Starks, director of transportation analysis for FTR, in a statement. “Rates have only moved slightly higher and freight growth, while strong at the end of 2012 and early in 2013, has generally been modest. Barring an external change in the marketplace we believe that the HOS changes, in conjunction with the other numerous regulations already implemented or soon to be, will be enough to change the supply and demand equation in favor of the truck fleet. That is why we expect a noticeable uptick in rates by the end of the year. The weaker manufacturing sector has probably limited any chances of seeing a true capacity crisis in 2013—we need some additional economic growth to envision that possibility.”

FTR officials have previously said that the TCI includes what they describe as a forward-looking component, which is pushing the TCI level up. And they said that continued moderate growth in conjunction with HOS and other regulations, will cause trucking rates to firm up in the coming months and improve carrier profitability.

Similar thoughts have been echoed throughout the industry in recent months. At last month’s National Shippers Strategic Council (NASSTRAC) Annual Conference, various carriers cited capacity cuts of 3 percent or more due to HOS, coupled with the vast majority of carriers noting they have no plans to increase assets or related equipment, other than on a replacement basis. 

FTR Senior Transportation Consultant Larry Gross recently told LM that even with mild economic growth, overall conditions are likely to be tempered for shippers, adding that if the recent spate of good economic news translates into more robust economic growth, capacity would tighten significantly and greater upward pressure on freight rates will come as a result.


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

FTR Associates · TCI · Trucking · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Supply Chain Visibility: Illuminating the Path to Responsive, Agile Operations
Supply chain visibility is not an end, but a tool. It is the means to achieving true supply chain effectiveness, agility and ultimately, corporate profitability.
Download Today!
From the December 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Trade and transport analysts see rates rising across all modes in accordance with continued expansion of domestic and international markets. Economists, meanwhile, say shippers can expect revenue growth in transport verticals to remain in the 3%-plus range.
2018 Customs & Regulations Update:10 observations on the “digital trade transformation”
Moore on Pricing: Freight settlement and your TMS
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2018 Rate Forecast
Join our panel of top oil and transportation analysts for an exclusive look at where rates are headed and the issues driving those rate increases over the coming year.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2018 Rate Outlook: Economic Expansion, Pushing Rates Skyward
Trade and transport analysts see rates rising across all modes in accordance with continued...
Building the NextGen Supply Chain: Keeping pace with the digital economy
Peerless Media’s 2017 Virtual Summit shows how creating a data-rich ecosystem can eliminate...

2017 NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year: Mallinckrodt; Mastering and managing complexity
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships...
2017 Alliance Awards: Recognizing outstanding supply chain partnerships
In an era where effective supply chain collaboration is both highly valued and elusive, Logistics...