FTR Shippers Conditions Index for January Reflects Continued Favorable Environment in 2016


FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) improved for the third consecutive month to 4.3 reading in January. The SCI is in positive territory as favorable market conditions from 2015 continue into 2016.  Capacity now is sufficient to meet the demands of the current market.   However, the index is forecast to drop into negative territory later in the year as worries mount about likely capacity shortages in 2017.

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 -10 signal conditions for shippers are approaching critical levels, based on available capacity and expected costs. Details of the factors affecting the January Shippers Conditions Index, along with discussion about economic concerns on the horizon with possible recessionary scenarios are found in the March issue of FTR’s Shippers Update published March 7, 2016.

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

“We are now experiencing the first sustained period of favorable shipping conditions since 2009,” said Larry Gross, a Partner at FTR.  “Slow industrial growth and adequate capacity in all modes are combining to create this situation.  Positive shipper conditions would continue indefinitely based solely on our economic forecast, but the addition of the regulatory component changes the equation.  We expect conditions to begin to deteriorate from a shipper standpoint as we move through the year and begin to approach the ELD deadline as well as other regulatory developments.”

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.

For more information about how to subscribe to the Shippers Update, send an e-mail to [email protected] or call Ryan Beall at (888) 988-1699 ext. 1.
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