NASHVILLE, Tenn. –Industry forecaster FTR Associates has once again downgraded its outlook for the North American transportation industry.
Its mid-month North American Commercial Truck and Trailer Outlook report shows “further weakening in freight and equipment demand,” the company announced.
The forecaster says the industry is experiencing a sharp drop in freight volume in the first quarter, similar to the very low levels of the 1982 recession. The forecaster says freight tonnage will bottom out at -10.3% year-over- year in the second quarter of 2009 before beginning a slow rise to -6.6% in the fourth quarter.
FTR Associates also warned trucking companies to expect steady downward pressure on rates into the summer months. Coupled with the credit crisis, the analyst says truck production will remain at very low numbers. In fact, the startlingly low January numbers may be as good as it gets in 2009, FTR warned.
“The continued economic deterioration puts us on course for a -10% freight year -the worst market in a generation,” said Eric Starks, president of FTR Associates.
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