FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index Deteriorated Slightly in December

02.19.21 | FTR


FTR’s Shipping Conditions Index for December deteriorated slightly from the previous month to a reading of -10.9.  Q4 ’20 saw the toughest market conditions for shippers since early 2018.  Freight volumes remain strong but fuel costs continue to rise steadily. FTR’s current outlook is for improved conditions as capacity utilization and rates start to stabilize, albeit at high levels.  The SCI will likely remain in a low single-digit negative range through most if not all of 2021. 

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 “The new year has not been kind to shippers as weather-related disruptions chewed up capacity and higher fuel prices will likely further erode their position in the marketplace in the first quarter. Fuel prices increased significantly in the first two months of the year and will likely increase further as large refineries the produce significant amounts of diesel were forced offline from weather-related issues in February.”   
The February issue of FTR’s Shippers Update, published February 5 provides a detailed analysis of the factors affecting the December Shippers Conditions Index and provides the forecast for this index through December of 2021. Additional commentary discusses how driver utilization in the for-hire segment compares to overall utilization.
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. The index tells you the industry’s health at a glance. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. A negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. 

For more information call 888-988-1699 or email [email protected]

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. With over 250 years of combined experience in the transportation industry, FTR’s experts provide quantitative analysis with historical and modal-specific insights. FTR’s reports, data, commentary, and insights help their 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™ freight forecasting model. 
To learn more about FTR visit, Follow us on twitter @FTRintel and connect with us on LinkedIn. To contact FTR, call 888-988-1699 or email [email protected]