BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – U.S. trucking conditions hit their worst ever levels on the FTR Trucking Conditions Index in April, at -28.66 reflecting the contraction due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The previous low point was -16.08 in September 2008. Cost of fuel was positive for truckers, but demand, utilization and rates were in extreme negative territory, FTR reported.
The good news, however, is that FTR says April represented the bottom. But the pace of recovery remains uncertain. FTR projects its Trucking Conditions Index will improve sharply while remaining in negative territory through early 2021.
“Spot market load volumes have recovered well since bottoming out in mid-April, although the recovery seems to have stalled out a bit,” said Avery Vise, FTR’s vice-president of trucking.
“The unprecedented depth and speed of the contraction and the severity of disruption in supply chains and freight networks will make it difficult to assess in the short run whether higher volumes are merely temporary or part of a sustained rebound. The critical question is what happens once consumers and businesses exhaust the trillions of dollars that Washington has pumped into the economy to offset the pandemic’s financial consequences. All that we can be sure about is that market conditions will not be as bad as they were in April.”
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