The trucking industry saw mixed conditions over the past couple of months. Our main takeaway, based on economic news and indicators, points towards trucking conditions remaining stagnant over the next few months. Here are the top headlines we are currently watching.
Diesel Fuel Prices Increase
The national average for a gallon of on-highway diesel fuel jumped 9.4 cents the week of September 23rd, reaching $3.081 a gallon. Diesel fuel prices jumped due to recent attacks on a Saudi Arabian oil field that slowed the country’s oil production. The price increase is the largest single week change in average fuel prices since September 2017.
The Midwest saw the largest price spike, with an 11-cent increase, followed by a 9.7 cent-increase in the Lower Atlantic and Gulf Coast.
Source: Commercial Carrier Journal
August Truck Tonnage Rose 4.1%
Truck tonnage in August rose 4.1% compared to tonnage a year earlier, according to the American Trucking Association’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index. Seasonally adjusted tonnage also increased 4.3% year-to-date compared with the first eight months in 2018. However, truck tonnage fell 3.2% in August after an increase of 6.2% in July.
According to ATA Chief Economist, the rise in tonnage data is due to an increase in contract freight, as spot market freight experienced decreases this year.
Source: Transport Topics
FTR Trucking Conditions Index Slightly Improves in July
The FTR Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) slightly improved in July, with a reading of -0.28. According to FTR, a TCI reading above zero represents an adequate trucking environment – a reading above 10 indicates volumes, prices and margin are in good range for carriers.
July’s reading showed an improvement in trucking conditions compared to June’s reading of -0.82 and May’s reading of -2.3.
FTR said lower diesel prices improved trucking conditions in July but expects the outlook for conditions over the next year to range from neutral to negative.
Source: Logistics Management