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 As information becomes outdated, we will archive items so that this page remains relevant.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


August 13

Rail Freight Recovery Index

COVID-19 Rail Freight Recovery Index

Carload volumes are holding nearly steady in the dog days of August.

N.A. Carload: Carload volumes increased ever so slightly in the latest week, but they have generally held flat for the last several weeks.

N.A. Intermodal: Intermodal volumes showed a significant increase in the latest week as we build toward a peak season that could not materialize in the way stakeholders have traditionally expected.

Economically Sensitive Freight: Economically-sensitive freight held flat in the latest week, inline with the slow recovery in the industrial sector that has been visible elsewhere in the economy.

Other Segments: Automotive & Energy included in PDF


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



August 13

Truck Freight Recovery Index

Covid-19 Truck Freight Recovery Index

Truck freight index softens sharply after peaking on August 6.

Total: Total freight softened in the latest data after hitting an index high on August 6, suggesting Tropical Storm Isaias, which struck the densely populated Northeast, might have contributed to the recent momentum.

Dry Van: The Dry Van segment has moderated sharply since surging to a peak on August 5. The latest index reading is below the prior peak recorded on July 30th.

Refrigerated:Temperature-controlled activity’s recent surge apparently has ended as the index has, since August 5, fallen from its highest level since the March restocking period to its lowest level in August.

Flatbed: The Flatbed segment continued to fall below its recent high of 129.9 in the latest data, but the decline so far has not been as sharp as those in the other segments.

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. 

August 10

Spot Market Insights

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

Total Spot Loads

Spot market imbalance surges to record high

More loads and fewer trucks in the Truckstop.com system during the week ended August 7 (week 31) resulted in the highest Market Demand Index (MDI) on record, surpassing the prior record hit in early June 2018. Load postings rose 5.4% from the prior week as weak volume growth in flatbed dragged down stronger increases in dry van and refrigerated. Spot rates were higher in all three segments, but as with loads, the rate increases were much stronger in dry van and refrigerated than in flatbed.


Click here to view this complete analysis. >

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August 10

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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July 30

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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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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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.