As the economic situation evolves, unbiased and actionable intelligence is more important than ever. 

 

This page is your go-to resource for transportation insights and expert commentary on how COVID-19 prevention steps are affecting the economy and transportation markets. FTR will be focusing the work of its team of experts and the Freight•cast™ forecasting model to inform and guide transportation professionals and its clients. Check this space frequently for reports, webinars, forecasts, commentary, and all intelligence that is available for you to navigate these difficult times. 

 

✳️ All content listed on this page is complimentary.

This page will be updated regularly with the latest intelligence that we are able to provide. As information becomes outdated, we will archive items so that this page remains relevant. In addition to the information on this page, FTR provides a comprehensive suite of products and services for transportation professionals. Click here to view samples and more information for the additional reports available to you.

 

Interactive Dashboards:

FTR is developing a series of interactive dashboards to help transportation professionals understand the real-time true impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the rates and volumes in the freight marketplace. The map below assesses the state-level impacts on the U.S. trucking industry by four equipment types – dry van, refrigerated, flatbed, and specialized – using Truckstop.com spot market data.

 

FTR’s analysis examines historical seasonal behavior regarding rates in each state and normalizes the data to represent how the trucking environment would look in a typical growth economy. By comparing that norm to the current rate environment, we can understand how COVID-19 is affecting rates on a state-by-state basis.

To help you better understand how the map works, visit our Knowledge Base FAQ.

 

Commentary, Reports, and Updates:

This section will continue to host the most relevant intelligence that FTR is able to provide on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the transportation markets. Check back frequently as we add new information.

April 2

Weekly Transportation Update

This content is relevant for: Rail, Trucking, Shipping, Equipment, and Freight Focused Professionals

2020 Worst Weeks for Unemployment

Unemployment claims total nearly 10 million in just two weeks.

  • Congress provides $2 trillion in cash payments, loans, and enhanced unemployment payments.
  • Dry van and refrigerated spot freight is strong but may be stabilizing.
  • Rail carloads start to feel COVID-19 impact as intermodal looks at months of pain from low imports.

Click here to download the PDF for our complete analysis.>

 

 

April 2

Ask The Expert Webinar | COVID-19 Update

This content is relevant for: Rail, Trucking, Shipping, Equipment, and Freight Focused Professionals

Presenters: Avery Vise, Todd Tranausky, Clay Slaughter

Moderator: Jonathan Starks

Description: Given the current COVID-19 situation and changes that keep evolving, this Ask the Expert webinar provided the latest information for how transportation professionals will be affected. As this situation continues to change, FTR is providing additional intelligence on an ongoing basis to keep our clients informed and aware of how the latest news and forecasts will affect their business.

Click here to download the PDF for this webinar. >

 

 

 

April 1

Podcast | Trucking Market Update

This content is relevant for: Trucking, Shipping, Equipment, and Freight Focused Professionals

Trucking Market Update on the State of Freight Podcast

 

 

April 1

Podcast | Rail Market Update

This content is relevant for: Rail, Shipping, Equipment, and Freight Focused Professionals

Rail Market Update on the State of Freight Podcast

 

 

March 30

Spot Market Update

This content is relevant for:  Shippers, Brokers, and Carriers

Slide1

Refrigerated spot metrics cooled sharply last week.

A week after what appears to be an unprecedented imbalance in refrigerated spot freight due to dynamics related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, metrics settled back to what has been a more typical range in recent weeks. Meanwhile, dry van spot metrics stabilized at elevated levels, and flatbed spot volumes continued falling.

Click here to download the PDF for our complete analysis.>

 

 

March 23

Flash Update | Recession Outlook

This content is relevant for: Rail, Trucking, Shipping, Equipment, and Freight Focused Professionals

Real GDP from the Recession Outlook

Economic forecast moves sharply lower as many downside risks are already in effect.

  • GDP is now forecast to show a double-digit loss during Q2; recovery could begin in Q3 and strengthen in Q4.
  • Downside risks still are twice as likely as upside risks.
  • FTR forecasts sharp drops in GDP Goods Transport Sector and Industrial Production. 

The speed at which the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is shutting down routine commerce has been dizzying. When FTR issued a recession forecast just a week ago, we identified major downside risks in terms of employment and related damage to output and consumption. FTR has been continually revisiting its forecasts during this time, and we now expect a severe drop in GDP in Q2.

Click here to download the PDF for our complete analysis. >

 

March 23

Flash Update | Freight Outlook

This content is relevant for: Rail, Trucking, Shipping, Equipment, and Freight Focused Professionals

Total US Freight Tonmiles from the Freight Outlook

All sectors of transportation will feel dramatic effects from the coronavirus shutdowns

  • The positive effects of restocking grocery stores and distribution centers on dry van and reefer markets are likely to slow substantially in the next two to three weeks.
  • Industrial-focus trucking segments are already starting to see the effects of constrained commerce.
  • Intermodal will face additional challenges from the newly loosened truck market over the balance of 2020.
  • Nearly every carload sector will feel dramatic repercussions from the coronavirus.

The freight market, across all modes and segments, is expected to be substantially weaker than previously forecast because of the restrictions on economic activity put in place in the U.S. and across the globe. As a result of these restrictions and the resulting decline in consumer confidence, FTR expects 2020 volume and rate declines across most segments.

Click here to download the PDF for our complete analysis. >

 

March 23

Flash Update | CV Equipment Outlook

This content is relevant for: Trucking, and Equipment Focused Professionals

Total Truck Utilization from the CV Equipment Outlook

A sharp economic contraction will slam CV production.

  • Total truck loadings are forecast to drop 4% in 2020, and weak utilization will hurt freight rates.
  • FTR’s revised North American Class 8 shipment forecast is 150,000 units for 2020.
  • The revised U.S. trailer production forecast is 155,000 units for 2020. 

The severe economic impact of measures taken in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will have a severe impact on the commercial equipment industry. Demand for new trucks and trailers is expected to be extremely low during the crisis period. There is tremendous economic uncertainty and fear, the intensity of which has not been present since the Great Recession. There is extreme economic risk to buying new equipment at this time. Fleets that were planning to purchase new equipment likely will wait out the crisis before placing orders.

Click here to download the PDF for our complete analysis.>

 

March 24

Flash Update | Rail Equipment Outlook

This content is relevant for: Rail and Equipment Focused Professionals

Railcar Utilization from the Rail Equipment Outlook

Rail equipment is in for an extended downturn

  • Energy, intermodal, and automotive freight are all taking a significant hit to demand right now.
  • Utilization of the fleet was already at depressed levels and will sink even further to sub-60%.
  • FTR’s new North American deliveries forecast is for just 23,200 units in 2020.

The reduced economic outlook and its impact on rail freight will trickle through into the rail equipment markets that were already under pressure before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis emerged. It is now likely that utilization will slip toward 60% (or even below it), leading to a significant slowdown in orders across all car types and further reducing delivery expectations.

Click here to download the PDF for our complete analysis. >

 


 

 

EricStarks_400px

Eric Starks

Chairman & CEO

FTR's priority during these uncertain times is to leverage our expert analysis and the Freight•cast™ model to help our clients understand how the coronavirus crisis will affect their businesses. Visit this page often as we provide updates and resources for navigating these trying times. While we are providing much of this information to the public, we continue to provide greater and more detailed information in the standard products and services that are available only to FTR clients. Contact us to learn how you can get the transportation intelligence you need.