Continued Unfavorable Conditions Expected for Shippers

FTR - Transportation Intelligence

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index Drops in May to -6.2 Reading

Bloomington, IN – (Trailer Technician) – FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) fell back in May to a -6.2 reading. After relatively stable diesel prices in April, large increases in May coupled with tighter capacity utilization led to tougher market conditions despite some rate relief.

The outlook for the SCI is for little change as utilization and rates are expected to remain mildly unfavorable for shippers. Occasional positive readings are possible depending on changes in fuel costs and market dynamics.

Shippers Conditions Index - May 2022

Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR, commented, “There is a lot of uncertainty in the weeks and months ahead as congestion remains a front burner issue for anyone moving freight through the port and rail supply chain. There is no easy solution to the congestion woes facing the ports and rail carriers, and it is unlikely to improve meaningfully before the peak season ramps up.”

The June issue of FTR’s Shippers Update, published July 8th provides a detailed analysis of the factors affecting the April Shippers Conditions Index and provides the forecast for this index through May of 2023. The July issue also includes a discussion of the dynamics currently supporting a shift of freight demand back to larger contract carriers from smaller carriers and the spot market.

The Shippers Conditions Index tracks the changes representing four major conditions in the U.S. full-load freight market. These conditions are: freight demand, freight rates, fleet capacity, and fuel price. The individual metrics are combined into a single index that tracks the market conditions that influence the shippers’ freight transport environment. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. A negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. The index tells you the industry’s health at a glance.

About FTR

For more than 30 years, FTR has served as the industry leader in freight transportation forecasting for the shipping, trucking, rail, intermodal, equipment, and financial communities in North America. With over 250 years of combined experience in the transportation industry, FTR’s experts provide quantitative analysis with historical and modal-specific insights. FTR’s reports, data, commentary, and insights help their clients evaluate market risks, identify new opportunities, and make informed decisions.

FTR is the only company with a complete set of freight data for all modes of transportation with detail at the 3 Digit STCC commodity level. FTR tracks and forecasts 200+ unique commodity groups both quarterly and annually using their proprietary Freight•cast™ freight forecasting model.

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