FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index

The May TCI (the most recent month for which data is available) reading was -5.19, which, while still negative, is well ahead of April’s -28.66, which topped the previous low of -16.08 recorded in September 2008.

Following an April, which marked its lowest reading ever, the May edition of the Trucking Conditions Index (TCI), which was issued this week by freight transportation consultancy FTR, showed some signs of modest gains, despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the freight transportation sector.

According to FTR, a TCI reading above zero represents an adequate trucking environment, with readings above 10 indicating that volumes, prices and margin are in a good range for carriers.

The May TCI (the most recent month for which data is available) reading was -5.19, which, while still negative, is well ahead of April’s -28.66, which topped the previous low of -16.08 recorded in September 2008.

FTR attributed May’s improvement to increased consumer spending, which the firm said brought the expected rebound in freight indicators, adding that a less-negative industrial production forecast is serving as a main contributor to a firmer freight outlook for the remainder of 2020.

“The spot market is the strongest in two years, which certainly suggests upside to our current outlook”, said FTR Vice President of Trucking Avery Vise in a statement. “However, the recent increases in COVID-19 cases in some large U.S. states mean that we are not out of the woods yet as some states are moderating their reopening and many universities and school systems remain uncertain about their plans. We are also concerned that the recovery to date is fueled substantially by unprecedented financial assistance from Washington and that further such assistance might be necessary to keep the economy on track.”

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