The new edition of the Trucking Conditions Index (TCI), which was published this week by freight transportation consultancy FTR, remained negative, for the third straight month, while showing some signs of improvement.
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.
For July, the most recent month for which data is available, the TCI came in at -0.7, faring better than June’s -3.36 reading, with the improvement coming from falling diesel prices, said FTR.
This marked the first time the TCI has turned in three straight months of negative readings, going back to March-May 2020, with FTR stating that it expects trucking market conditions are in for a long period of moderate weakness.
“Trucking companies had a great run, but freight dynamics clearly have softened,” said Avery Vise, FTR’s vice president of trucking, in a statement. “While the economy and freight markets look more resilient than many observers fear, risks are weighted to the downside. Market weakness will not be uniform, but the type of freight is hardly the only differentiator. Carriers heavily engaged in the contract arena should continue to fare significantly better than the total market, and those that have managed to contain costs during this inflationary environment certainly will be in a better position to prosper.”
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