With the exception of a higher reading in February of this year, FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for July, at a reading of 14.04, reflects the strongest conditions the industry has seen since early 2004. This current growth cycle is stronger in duration than the 2004 period. FTR predicts that the TCI has peaked and will moderate modestly for the balance of the year. Key freight generators – manufacturing, construction, and retail sales – remain strong, with a positive outlook for the coming months. The forecast risk in the near term is on the upside if holiday retail sales outpace expectations.
Avery Vise, Vice President of Trucking, comments, “Carriers might not see stronger conditions in the current cycle, but they shouldn’t lose too much sleep over it. We expect the TCI to remain in double-digit territory into 2019. With manufacturing and construction hot and the labor market tight, it would be very difficult for capacity growth to outstrip freight demand for quite some time.”