FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) fell back into negative territory in May to a reading of -2.8, following five months of positive readings for shippers.
Market signals remain very mixed with some seasonal increase in spot freight rates negatively affecting the SCI. Overall, the index should remain close to neutral until Congress decides if and when to reinstate of the 34-hour restart rule. The reinstatement would constrict capacity resulting in more negative readings for the SCI.
FTR partner Larry Gross said, “Shippers have taken full advantage of the current capacity lull as indications are that the bid season has been difficult for carriers. Now rising spot rates may be signaling the start of a slow reversal in circumstances back toward the carriers, but much will depend on whether the regulatory agenda continues to unfold on schedule.”
The Shippers Conditions Index is a compilation of factors affecting the shippers transport environment. Any reading below zero indicates a less-than-ideal environment for shippers. Readings below minus 10 signal conditions for shippers are approaching critical levels, based on available capacity and expected costs. Details of the factors affecting the May Shippers Conditions Index, along with a close look at what Brexit means for the U.S. transportation industry, are found in the July issue of FTR’s Shippers Update.
For more than two decades, FTR has been a thought leader in freight transportation forecasting in North America. The company’s national award-winning forecasters collect and analyze all data likely to impact freight movement, issuing consistently reliable reports for trucking, rail, and intermodal transportation, as well as providing demand analysis for commercial vehicle and railcar. FTR’s forecasting and specially designed reports have resulted in advanced planning and cost-savings for companies throughout the transportation sector.
The Shippers Update, launched by FTR during 2010 as a part of the firm’s Freight Focus, looks at conditions that will affect the cost and efficiency of shipping goods via all transportation modes. North American shippers will find in one reference the essential information they need on freight volumes, equipment capacity and transport costs and rates.
The Shippers Update has both history and forecasts for four modal options: truckload, less-than-truckload, intermodal and rail carload. The analysis includes the breakdown of total truck and rail volumes into major commodity segments. It also provides historical snapshots of inland water and air freight markets. The freight data is augmented by an abundant collection of supporting data covering macro-economics and the fuel market.