Trucking conditions steady, but small carriers at greater risk: FTR

Trucking conditions held steady in August with FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index remaining in slight negative territory at -0.25, up slightly from -0.7 in July.

Falling diesel prices contributed to the slightly improved conditions for truckers, FTR reported. The biggest negative factor was financing costs with higher interest rates. Freight dynamics weakened slightly from July.

Trucking conditions chart

Industry forecaster maintained its forecast for “moderate weakness” through 2023.

“Although truck freight dynamics are softening broadly, smaller carriers likely will see a disproportionate negative impact in overall financial conditions due to sharp increases in financing costs and great volatility in diesel prices,” FTR’s vice-president – trucking Avery Vise said in a release.

“Because small carriers are less likely to have reliable fuel surcharges in place, they typically feel the effects of changing diesel prices more profoundly than larger carriers do. That situation helped in July and August as diesel prices fell, but it will turn out to be a big negative in October at least. Small carriers also are less likely than larger ones to achieve comfortable financing terms for equipment and other needs for capital.”

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