ECONOMIC WATCH: Trucking conditions remain ‘slightly negative’

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Trucking conditions remained in slightly negative territory in November, according to FTR's latest Trucking Conditions Index (TCI). The index read -1.58, primarily due to weaker spot market rates, FTR reported. The industry forecaster is calling for the index to remain in near neutral range until conditions improve modestly in late 2020.

"Conditions certainly are not as good as trucking companies would like, but fundamentally they are not as bad as people may hear," said Avery Vise, FTR's vice-president of trucking. "We continue to see many business failures, but the principal driver appears to be trucking insurance costs, not market fundamentals. Capacity utilization is low but stable. Weakness in manufacturing especially has dampened freight demand, but solid consumer spending and improving construction activity are holding up a floor on volumes."

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