FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) measure for July continued its recent rise with a new high for the year at a reading of 8.07. Substantial upward revisions to Q1 freight growth have helped to push full year growth projections close to 4%. The stronger freight forecast is now reflected in the improved TCI readings which had been languishing in very modest territory.
Additionally, recent revisions to Q2 GDP growth suggests that improvements in freight drivers could possibly continue. Along with these improvements, FTR is forecasting double digit positive TCI readings by the end of the year.
Jonathan Starks, FTR’s Director of Transportation Analysis, comments, “Stock market gyrations may have caused concern, but the freight market continues to chug along. Pressure to add more drivers has momentarily eased, yet freight continues to increase and rates paid to truckers are still relatively strong. Depending on the markets that they serve, carriers are either seeing growing rates or they are only a little behind the very high rates seen last year. Continued easing of diesel prices helps with cash flow for small carriers, and Q3 should be good for both revenue and profits. There are still a large litany of issues that remain unresolved, and we will be addressing them in our annual Transportation Conference next week in Indianapolis, IN. With over 60 industry experts covering every facet of freight transportation, we will be exploring the issues surrounding the impending driver shortage, the closely related regulatory agenda, and how carriers and shippers can work together to help alleviate both of those challenges.”