BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Trucking conditions in the U.S. improved slightly in July, with a reading just above neutral at 0.28.
Lower diesel prices offset the effects of lower capacity utilization, pushing the index into positive territory for the first time since January, FTR reported of its Trucking Conditions Index. But while some positive readings are possible over the next year, FTR cautions the outlook is primarily for negative to neutral readings.
“Although it has become common to hear dire warnings about the state of the trucking industry, the truck freight market as a whole is hardly collapsing,” said Avery Vise, FTR’s vice-president of trucking. “Rapid cooling from last year’s extraordinarily strong market certainly has left many weak carriers exposed, but freight volume and rates are holding up reasonably well – certainly if viewed in a longer-term context. Still, most of the near-term risks to our outlook are on the downside.”