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A Weak Rate Environment Pulls Trucking Conditions Index Down Further in March

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for March reflected persistent unfavorable conditions for carriers with a decrease to a reading of -5.83 for the month from -5.17 in February. Lower fuel costs and slightly stronger utilization partially offset a more negative rate environment as spot rates continued to deteriorate. Financing costs are also still a challenge. Market conditions are expected to remain at least modestly unfavorable for trucking companies into 2024.

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Avery Vise

VP of Trucking

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Avery Vise commented, “The data that drives our forecasting model still suggests that market conditions for trucking companies are at or near bottom, but the recovery looks fairly shallow – certainly compared to recent markets. We have yet to see clear indications that enough drivers are exiting the market to set the stage for a capacity-driven rebound. Although many very small carriers are failing, so far larger carriers have absorbed that driver capacity. Freight demand appears just strong enough to keep most drivers employed but not strong enough to keep them fully utilized.”

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