Trucking conditions remain strong as drivers gradually return

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI), which measures the health of the trucking industry, remained elevated in July but eased from prior months. The 10.78 reading was below June’s 12.61 rating, but still “robust,” according to industry forecaster FTR. It expects conditions to remain strong for carriers through the remainder of the year.

“We have yet to see any softening of market conditions that are basically the strongest trucking companies have ever seen – certainly for such a prolonged period,” said Avery Vise, FTR’s vice-president – trucking.

“However, we are finally seeing some movement toward more driver capacity. The recovery in trucking’s payroll employment has accelerated over the past three months even as the number of newly authorized carriers – most of which would not be captured by payroll job data – continues to set records. Meanwhile, the number of pre-employment queries in the drug and alcohol clearinghouse in August was the highest recorded since the clearinghouse began in January last year.

These developments have not shown up in any weakening of trucking conditions, but they certainly increase the chances for some stabilization in the coming months.”