FTR Intermodal Competitive Index for November Shows Stability at Moderately Favorable Levels

01.26.17 | FTR

FTR’s Intermodal Competitive Index (ICI) declined slightly in November to a level of 5.0, indicating moderately favorable competitive conditions for intermodal versus truck. In the near term, the ICI may deteriorate a bit due to normal seasonal factors, but it is then anticipated to begin a steady rise through the balance of the year as the December implementation date for the truck Electronic Logging Device (ELD) federal mandate approaches and truck capacity tightens.

The Intermodal Competitive Index is a compilation of factors affecting the competitive posture of the domestic North American intermodal sector versus over-the-road truck. Any reading below zero indicates a less-than-ideal environment for intermodal, while readings above zero are meant to communicate relatively favorable conditions. The higher the reading, the more favorable the intermodal environment appears to be. The ICI looks at a variety of factors including truck capacity, fuel prices, rail service, intermodal rates, and so forth. Details of the factors affecting the November Intermodal Competitive Index, along with a close look at market conditions and what might be expected going forward, can be found in the January issue of FTR’s Intermodal Update published January 2, 2017.

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

Larry Gross, Partner at FTR and principal author of Intermodal Update, commented, “While the new Trump administration’s more restrained philosophy with regard to regulation may have some eventual downstream effects on the trucking environment, we believe that the ELD Regulation, which has already been formalized into law, will not be recalled. It has already survived two court challenges in the Federal Appeals court and the only legal recourse for its opponents now lies with an injunction from the Supreme Court which we view as unlikely.  While the extent and precise timing of the capacity effects of the ELD mandate are open to debate, there seems to be little doubt that its capacity effects will result in some tightening of truck availability which should work to the benefit of intermodal.”

For more information about how to subscribe to the Intermodal Update, send an e-mail to [email protected] or call (888) 988-1699 ext. 1 and follow us on Twitter @FTRintel. 

The Intermodal Update, launched by FTR during 2010 as a part of the firm’s Freight Focus, looks at conditions that affect companies involved in intermodal, including where growth is occurring and what type of equipment is moving. 

The Intermodal Update has both history and forecasts for volume trends by traffic lane, trends in equipment type and size, trends in imports and exports by port region.  

Click here to view a sample report >

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.