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FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index Improves Sharply in May

07.25.19 | FTR

 
FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for May improved sharply to a reading of 5.6, nearly four points higher than the April reading. Market conditions are the most favorable for shippers in years and are expected to continue in the current range for the remainder of 2019. The principal strength is continued softening of truckload and intermodal rates with rail stabilizing. Fuel prices may put some pressure on shipper costs due to the recent rise in crude prices; however, those increases appeared to level off at under $60/barrel.

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, “Softness in freight volumes combined with more abundant capacity in the truckload market than was present last year have made it a good time to be a shipper. Sustained weakness in freight volumes through the summer suggest the positive results for shippers could continue for much of the rest of 2019.”
 
The July issue of FTR’s Shippers Update, published July 8, 2019, details the factors affecting the May 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 
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. FTR’s experts, with over 250 years of combined experience in the transportation industry, provide quantitative analysis with historical and modal-specific insights. FTR’s reports, data, commentary, and insights help 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 U.S. freight transportation model. FTR’s Transportation Conference held annually in September in Indianapolis is a unique event bringing together every aspect of the freight transportation world into one place. For more information www.FTRconference.com

To learn more about FTR visit www.FTRintel.com, Follow us on twitter @FTRintel and connect with us on LinkedIn! To contact FTR, call 888-988-1699 or email FTR@FTRintel.com.