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FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index Shows Significant Drop in August Primarily Due to Short-Term Fuel Cost Increase

10.31.17 | FTR


FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) took a significant hit in August dropping to a -6.7 reading, primarily due to short-term fuel cost increases caused by Hurricane Harvey disruptions. In addition to the fuel cost increase, the more negative SCI reading was also impacted by increased logistic costs for shippers that are expected to persist into 2018. Spot prices have already spiked due to full capacity utilization. Pressure on contract pricing is expected to increase by the end of 2017 and into 2018, keeping the SCI index in negative territory through the period.

The October issue of FTR’s Shippers Update, published October 10, 2017, details the factors affecting the August Shippers Conditions Index, along with discussion about the effects of recent hurricane activity on the market.

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


Jonathan Starks, Chief Operating Officer at FTR, commented, “Shippers are in a tough position right now. We have known for some time that the trucking industry has been operating with very little excess capacity; however, the weak pricing environment masked that phenomenon for the last year. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma exposed shippers to this new reality. There just wasn’t enough excess capacity to deal with spikes, and the result was a significant spot market pricing gain that persisted through early October. Spot rates have begun to normalize, but that still puts rates at +20% compared to last year. When you couple the Hurricane impacts with increased freight demand and the fast approaching ELD implementation, there’s a real fear that loads won’t get delivered. This is already beginning to show up in the contract markets. Spot prices were the canary in the coal mine - contract pricing is likely to show significant gains through most of 2018.”

For more information about how to subscribe to the Shippers Update, send an e-mail to [email protected] or call Helen Lile at (888) 988-1699 ext. 1 and follow us on Twitter @FTRintel.


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 two decades, FTR has been the thought leader in freight transportation forecasting in North America. The company’s national award-winning forecasters collect and analyze all data likely to impact freight movement, issuing consistently reliable reports for trucking, rail, and intermodal transportation, as well as providing demand analysis for commercial vehicle and railcar. FTR’s forecasting and specially designed reports have resulted in advanced planning and cost-savings for companies throughout the transportation sector.