Most Recent Posts



The FTR Experts

Recent Posts

Weekly Transportation Update: Housing Starts Ease After Strong February

Housing starts and home sales soften after strong February.

  • Seasonally adjusted continued claims for unemployment benefits were highest since November 2021.
  • Streak of diesel price decreases ends at 10 weeks as the Midwest fuels higher national average.
  • Dry van and refrigerated spot rates fall by the most in a week since January.
  • Rail volumes recover in the latest week after an Easter-induced decline.

Read More

Weekly Transportation Update: Inflation Cools While Job Growth Impresses

Manufacturing output and retail sales fall while inflation cools.

  • The economy posts solid job growth in March as trucking employment looks   stronger.
  • EPA proposal would require major shift to zero-emission vehicles by model year 2032.
  • Truck spot market metrics soften in line with seasonal expectations.
  • Mexico factors into recent weakness in intermodal and rail carload volumes.

Read More

Weekly Transportation Update: Job Openings Fall For Second Straight Month

Job openings dip below 10 million for the first time since May 2021.

  • The ISM manufacturing index weakens to lowest level since May 2020.
  • Trucking company new entry and carrier failures were basically in balance in March.
  • Spot rates in dry van and refrigerated decline in line with seasonal expectations.
  • Intermodal and rail carload volumes were generally stable in the latest week.

Read More

Weekly Transportation Update: Industrial Production Weaker As Automotive Drives Retail Inventory Growth

Annual data revision shows modestly weaker industrial production.

  • Real consumer spending eased slightly in February.
  • The automotive industry drove retail inventory growth in the latest month.
  • EPA grants waivers to California for heavy-duty vehicle and engine emissions standards.
  • Intermodal volume continues to be weak, but rail carload recovered to the prior trend.

Read More

Weekly Transportation Update: Existing Home Sales Trend Upward After Long Fall

Sales of existing homes surge in February after a year of decline. 

  • Durable manufactured goods orders hold steady excluding transportation equipment.
  • Knight-Swift to buy U.S. Xpress, establishing a truckload fleet of about 25,000 tractors.
  • The spot market for truck freight sees a largely status quo week.
  • Intermodal volumes remain weak as saber-rattling begins at west coast ports.

Read More

Weekly Transportation Update: Lean Retail Inventories Reduce Prospects for Correction

Manufacturing output and retail sales were lackluster in February. 

  • Retail inventories were leaner in January, reducing prospects for a stronger correction.
  • Housing starts and permits see solid increases in February.
  • Van segments’ spot rates reverse their gains from the prior week.
  • STB approves Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern merger.

Read More

Weekly Transportation Update: U.S. Jobs Rise Overall While Trucking Jobs Drop

U.S. economy adds 311,000 payroll jobs in February. 

  • Job openings decline in January from an upward revision of prior data. 
  • Trucking loses the most payroll jobs in a month since April 2020. 
  • Van segments posted their strongest spot rate gains of the year. 
  • Intermodal volumes are still sluggish, but coal spurs volume gains in rail carload.

Read More

Weekly Transportation Update: Mortgage Rates Rise While Diesel Prices Fall

New orders for core capital goods rise in January, but real orders were flat. 

  •  Retail inventory gain in January lags sales for the month. 
  •  Mortgage rates rise, diesel prices fall in the latest week. 
  •  Spot rates in trucking move slightly higher. 
  •  Carload volumes are stagnant overall; intermodal takes a step down due to Lunar New Year. 

Read More

Weekly Transportation Update: Real Consumer Spending Rises While Existing Home Sales Fall

Real consumer spending posts largest increase since March 2021. 

  • Sales of existing homes fall for the 12th straight month, but sales of new homes rise sharply. 
  •  Trucking and parcel post record revenues in 2022, but trucking sees sharp drop in Q4. 
  •  Dry van and refrigerated spot rates cool further in the latest week. 
  •  The latest railroad employment figures are a cause for concern. 

Read More

Weekly Transportation Update: Manufacturing and Retail Make Up For Weak Housing Starts

Manufacturing and retail post strong seasonally adjusted gains.

  • Housing starts in January were weakest since June 2020.
  • Energy and shelter costs fuel inflation at the consumer and producer levels.
  • Dry van and refrigerated resume their modest cooling in spot rates.
  • Intermodal volumes are already weak ahead of the Lunar New Year impact.

Read More

Sign up to receive our State of Freight TODAY posts. Select notification preference below.



View recent posts:



Search commentaries:



      Submit a question:

      You ask. FTR Experts answer.