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TCI Improved in September, but Trucking Conditions Remain Quite Tough



FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index in September improved to -8.97 from -12.54 in August due mostly to more stable fuel prices and modestly stronger freight demand. Market conditions remain quite tough for carriers and the outlook is for consistently negative readings for the TCI into late 2024.


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Avery Vise

VP of Trucking

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Avery Vise, FTR’s vice president of trucking, commented, “The TCI was less negative in September principally because fuel costs did not rise as much as they did in August, but trucking companies saw no real improvement in freight market conditions. Although carriers today are seeing some temporary relief due to the recent drop in diesel prices, freight rates look to improve only gradually over the next year. The trucking industry continues to struggle with more capacity than is ideal given sluggish freight volume. Many operations apparently are hanging on or maintaining driver levels in hopes of a near-term rebound, but that approach amounts to an increasingly high stakes game of chicken.”

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