U.S. trucking conditions weaken in May

by Truck News

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Trucking conditions in the U.S. weakened further in May, falling back nearly two points to a new reading of -2.3, FTR Trucking Conditions Index revealed Monday.

The index has been in negative territory since March and reflects a general weakness in conditions affecting carriers, FTR said.

“The outlook is for relative stability through the year with the possibility of some slightly positive readings month-to-month during the period,” the freight transportation forecaster added.

FTR attributed the slump to the softening rate environment. Freight demand was the only positive contributor in the May measure, albeit not a particularly strong one, it said.

“Although we have dropped from double-digit TCI readings to negative readings in less than a year, we believe the outlook for the rest of 2019 generally is for stability close to neutral conditions,” said Avery Vise, vice-president of trucking at FTR.

“It’s also important to recognize that most of the weakness is in the industrial sector, so trucking activity related to consumer demand should be relatively stronger than the rest of the industry.”

The index tracks the changes representing five major conditions in the U.S. truck market: freight volumes, freight rates, fleet capacity, fuel price and financing.

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