FTR Shippers Conditions Index Steady in July


FTR's Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for July, with a reading of -8.3, was basically unchanged from the previous month reflecting relatively modest freight volume growth combined with some capacity constraints caused by new regulations. The SCI is expected to remain in a tight range close to the current reading until increased regulatory drag negatively affects capacity and spurs rate increases in 2014.

The SCI 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 July SCI are found in the September issue of FTR's Shippers Update published September 12.

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

Jonathan Starks, director of transportation analysis for FTR, commented "truck capacity has been able to readily adjust to any increases in demand due to the slow growth environment that has characterized this recovery. If freight demand shows any sort of surge over the next few quarters it will become much more difficult for shippers to find the spare capacity to keep operations flowing smoothly. With so little spare capacity in the truck environment at any given time we believe that rates will be moving higher during the fall peak, and once again during the spring."

Additional commentary included in the current issue of the Shippers Update looks at the intermodal sector to quantify its importance and some of the factors driving its growth. 

The Shippers Update, launched by FTR during 2010 as a part of the firm’s Freight Focus series, 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.