Unbiased and actionable intelligence is more important than ever before. 

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 As information becomes outdated, we will archive items so that this page remains relevant.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 has developed 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.

 

COVID-19 Freight Recovery Index:

The COVID-19 Freight Recovery Index for Rail and Trucking measure the industry's response and recovery based on pre-pandemic levels, while accounting for historical patterns and seasonal fluctuations. Indexes are now available for trucking as a total, as well as narrowed by dry van, refrigerated, and flatbed, using Truckstop.com spot rate metrics and for rail showing North American carload and intermodal, economically sensitive freight, automotive, and energy sectors. Download either below to view all graphs available.

 

Oct 21

Rail Freight Recovery Index

COVID-19 Rail Freight Recovery Index_20201021-1

Carload index holds nearly flat in the latest week. Intermodal continues to lead the way.

N.A. Carload: The trend of slow and steady growth remains intact, but the last few weeks have adopted more of a flat posture that could persist.

N.A. Intermodal: Intermodal traffic maintained its stronger growth trend than carload in the latest week, but it showed ever the slightest sign of a slower rate of increase.

Economically Sensitive Freight: Economically-sensitive freight volumes maintained their slow and steady pace of improvement.

Automotive: Automotive traffic has been flat to slightly down in recent weeks as production holds at new normal levels.

Energy: Energy edged back down in the latest week but has been able to maintain its very slow rise out of the pandemic.

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

Oct 19

Truck Freight Recovery Index

COVID-19 TFR Index_20201019

Truck freight index edges higher but remains largely flat since early September.

Total: Freight activity continues to bounce around at a level below the post-pandemic peak. The latest index reading is about 3% below the week ending September 4.

Dry Van: The Dry Van segment has not reestablished the clear upward trend that had held sway from early May until Labor Day. The latest reading is around 7% below the peak during the week ending September 4.

Refrigerated: Temperature-controlled activity remains about 1% below the post-restocking peak, but the index has recovered over the past three weeks. However, the index could be challenged in November due to seasonal expectations.

Flatbed: The Flatbed segment saw its strongest gain in about a month and stands at about 2.5% below the post-pandemic peak during the week ending September 18.

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

 

 

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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. FTR clients receive even more intelligence and updates. To get the most information available for your decision making, contact us to learn more about our subscription services, reports, and ask how you can attend a complimentary webinar. 

October 19

Spot Market Insights

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

Total Spot Loads-2

Spot loads edge higher but remain below the peak

Spot load postings in the Truckstop.com system increased 0.6% during the week ended October 16 (week 41), but results were mixed as flatbed loads rose while dry van and refrigerated were down slightly week over week. Aside from the record-setting week 39, spot load postings have largely stalled out at high levels, although seasonal expectations would be for softer volumes. The ratio of loads to trucks in the system rose on a decline in truck postings, but it remains below the week 39 record.

Click here to view this complete analysis. >

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October 15

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

 

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October 14

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

 

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October 2

Weekly Transportation Update

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

Payroll Employment

The U.S. economy adds just 661,000 payroll jobs in September; unemployment eases to 7.9%

  • Reduced unemployment compensation drives personal income lower in August.
  • Truck spot freight was basically flat, but the imbalance sets another record.
  • Rail carload returns to trend after Labor Day disruptions.
  • International now is driving intermodal’s robust growth more than domestic, which is still strong.

Note: This report is available every week to FTR’s Premium subscribers. We are sharing it with you this week to keep you informed of the important employment data that has just been released. Would you like to keep getting these updates and staying apprised of market risks? Contact Customer Relations at info@ftrintel.com).

 

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

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August 27

Midwest Association of Rail Shippers + FTR Webinar

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

MARS + FTR Webinar

Title: Mixed Signals: Making Sense of What the Economy and the Freight Markets are Telling Us

Presenters: Todd Tranausky, Eric Starks
Moderater: Stefan Loeb, Watco, MARS

This joint webinar joined FTR and the MARS to bring an economic update, and freight update with a focus on rail & intermodal. From this link, you can watch the full replay, download the presentation slides, and listen to an additional Q&A session on the State of Freight™ Podcast. 

Click here to view the replay and graphs for this webinar. >

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August 18

Podcast | The Economic Recovery Q&A

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

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July 9

Key Issues in Transportation 

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

Key Issues in TransportationPresenters: Avery Vise, Todd Tranausky, Eric Starks
Moderater: Jonathan Starks

This State of Freight™ webinar sets the stage for the second half of 2020 and beyond for freight transportation. This year has been unprecedented, and many unknown factors remain concerning the economy and, ultimately, the freight markets. Watch the video embedded below as the FTR Experts discuss some of the most consequential issues and how various outcomes could affect shippers, carriers, and brokers.

Click here to view the replay and graphs for this webinar. >

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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.