FTR Shippers Conditions Index Remains in Low Territory


FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for May remained basically unchanged from the previous month at a current reading of -7.5 reflecting a continuing tight capacity situation with utilization rates holding between 98% and 99%.  Increases in labor costs and purchased transportation will drive shippers’ cost upwards throughout the remainder of the year.  Spot rates for truckload freight have risen as expected with increases in contract prices anticipated with July reports.  

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

Eric Starks, FTR’s President, commented, “Although shippers are not struggling to find capacity as they were during the storms earlier in the year, capacity remains tight for both truck and rail. The driver shortage continues to limit trucking, while service levels on the rails have been an issue. Shippers are increasingly pressured to maximize capacity by collaborating with carriers to increase productivity.”   

The Shippers Conditions Index is a compilation of factors affecting shippers transport environment. Any reading below zero indicates a less-than-ideal environment for shippers. Readings below 10 signal that conditions for shippers are approaching critical levels, based on available capacity and expected rates. 

Details of the factors affecting the April Shippers Conditions Index, along with additional commentary discussing oil prices and how they may impact the economy and trucking are found in the July issue of FTR’s Shippers Update published July 9, 2014.

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 (888) 988-1699 ext. 1.