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FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index for August Reflect Weakest Shipping Conditions in Two Years

10.22.20 | FTR



The FTR Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for August fell further into negative territory to a reading of -1.79. Just four months after the strongest market conditions on record, shipping conditions in August were the weakest in two years.
 
While most factors affecting the Shipping Conditions Index in August were equal to or more favorable than in July, the rate environment was significantly more unfavorable for shippers. The short-term outlook is for the SCI to improve; however, it is expected to become significantly negative in the second half of 2021 primarily due to tighter capacity and higher shipping rates.
 

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, “A rapid rise in freight volume coming out of the pandemic as retailers try to restock shelves quickly ahead of the holiday shopping season has created a deterioration in shippers’ power with carriers. The good news is that things should hold fairly neutral in the first half of 2021, but shippers will face more negative pressures in the final two quarters of 2021.”
 
The October issue of FTR’s Shippers Update, published October 7, provides a detailed analysis of the factors affecting the August Shippers Conditions Index and provides the forecast for this index through August of 2021. The additional commentary in this report focuses on the contrasts between the total freight market and the current strong spot market.

 
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. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. A negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. The index tells you the industry’s health at a glance.



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 www.FTRintel.com, Follow us on twitter @FTRintel and connect with us on LinkedIn. To contact FTR, call 888-988-1699 or email [email protected]