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FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index for January Shows Capacity Tightening

03.28.17 | FTR



FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for January, as detailed in the March Issue of the Shippers Update, reflects a more challenging environment for shippers as 2017 gets underway with a -3.6 reading.  While capacity is tightening, shippers should be optimistic that regulatory drag will likely be slowed under the new Republican president and congress.  However, solid economic growth forecasts in the 2.5% range for 2017 are expected to increase overall costs for shippers.

The SCI is a compilation of factors affecting the shippers transport environment.  Any reading below zero indicates a less-than-ideal environment for shippers.  Readings below -10 signal conditions for shippers are approaching critical levels, based on available capacity and expected costs.  The March issue of FTR’s Shippers Update, published March 10, 2017, details the factors affecting the December Shippers Conditions Index, along with a summary of FTR’s strenuous debate over the likely macro and industry-specific outcomes of actions expected under President Trump  

Click here to view the latest release and an interactive graph of the SCI>


Jonathan Starks, Chief Operating Officer at FTR, commented, “The economy is beginning to show signs of some acceleration. Manufacturing is attempting to shrug off its inventory woes, and business confidence has certainly improved, although it hasn't translated into direct investment yet. If sustained, this would raise the outlook for freight demand this year and into next year. While that would cause capacity to tighten, the tailwind is that the regulatory environment isn't expected to have as dramatic an impact as initially thought. Costs, especially rates, are still expected to see increases this year after a relatively weak rate environment in 2016."

For more information about how to subscribe to the Shippers Update, send an e-mail to hlile@ftrintel.com or call Helen Lile at (888) 988-1699 ext. 1 and follow us on Twitter @FTRintel.


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.
 
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About FTR
For more than two decades, FTR has been the 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.