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FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index for March Shows Positive Momentum

05.23.19 | FTR

 
FTR’s March Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) rose two full points from February to a reading of 2.8 reflecting a continued easing of truckload and intermodal rates.  The outlook is for improved shipper conditions through 2019.  However, some key areas to watch are fuel price increases and capacity utilization in trucking which can result in added costs for shippers.

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


 
Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR, commented, “Shippers are benefiting from relatively stable fuel prices and weaker trucking capacity utilization than they experienced in 2018. But both of those metrics are expected to tighten up as the year progresses. Diesel prices could move up in the fourth quarter ahead of the IMO 2020 fuel mandate, which could pressure fuel surcharges higher late in 2019.”
 
The May issue of FTR’s Shippers Update, published May 8, 2019, details the factors affecting the March Shippers Conditions Index. Also included is data and analysis on load volumes, the capacity environment, rates, costs, and the truck driver situation.
 
 
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. In life, running a fever is an indication of a health problem. It may not tell you exactly what’s wrong, but it alerts you to look deeper. Similarly, a reading well below zero on the FTR Trucking Conditions Index warns you of a problem...and readings high above zero spell opportunity. Readings near zero are consistent with a neutral operating environment. Double digit readings (both up or down) are warning signs for significant operating changes.

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.
 
Click here to view a sample report >

About FTR 
FTR has served as the industry leader in freight transportation forecasting in North America for the shipping, trucking, rail, intermodal, equipment, and financial communities for over thirty years. Our team of experts have over 250 years of combined experience in the transportation industry and leverage that knowledge to provide quantitative analysis with historical and modal-specific insights. The reports, data, commentary, and insights that FTR provides help our clients evaluate market risks, identify new opportunities, and make informed decisions.
 
FTR is well known for being 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 our proprietary Freight•cast U.S. freight transportation model. Standard reports include both freight focus and equipment focus series as well as custom report options and premier consulting services to work directly with forward thinking businesses.
 
FTR’s experts travel extensively to conferences and meetings throughout North America giving presentations, as well as hosting their own annual conference in Indianapolis this September. The FTR Transportation Conference is the only conference that brings together all the different aspects of the freight transportation world into one place. With over 80 speakers and panelists, and 450 attendees, the conference is the premier transportation forecasting event of the year.
 
Companies and individuals can learn more about FTR at www.FTRintel.com and can find more details about the FTR Transportation Conference at www.FTRconference.com. To contact FTR, you can call 888-988-1699 or email FTR@FTRintel.com