Track and Quotes

Show Shipment Information - Track and Trace PackageTrack and Trace
Get a Shipping Rate QuoteRate Quote

Truckload Demand Seen Stable, Improving
Monday, 08 February 2010 00:00
Morgan Stanley index shows rise in flatbed, reefer demand

Truckload demand climbed in the first week of February, with flatbed and refrigerated trucking showing the most strength, Morgan Stanley Research reports.

The investment research firm’s Truckload Freight Index, a measure of truckload demand and supply, rose to 2.31 Feb. 5, its highest level since October 2008.

Demand for flatbed trucking hit 10.83 on the index Feb. 5, compared with 6.44 Jan. 1 and 0.83 a year ago. The flatbed business has been hit hard by construction failures.

Demand was strongest in the Northeast and West, Morgan Stanley said.

The strength of the TFI index bucks seasonal trends. In previous years, it decreased in the post-holiday first quarter, before freight picks up again in March and April.

In 2004, the index fell 14.2 percent from Jan. 1 through Feb. 5. It fell almost 30 percent in the same period in 2005, and 56 percent in 2006. This year the TFI increased 10.8 percent from 2.06 Jan. 1 to 2.31 Feb. 5.

The index reflects anecdotal statements and financial reports from truckload carriers indicating stronger than usual demand continuing from the fourth quarter.

“Our demand index remains strong for this time of year,” Morgan Stanley analysts William Greene and Adam Longson said. However, overcapacity is still high.

“But we think we need our demand and overall indexes to approach 2004 or 2006 levels for solid pricing power to become evident,” Greene and Longson said.

The Journal of Commerce Online, 2/8/2010