Shippers Conditions Index for October at Neutral Reading Ahead of Expected Negative Measures in 2017

12.21.16 | FTR

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for October sits at a neutral reading of 0.4.  This is a pause before the index begins an expected decline in 2017, with the implementation of capacity-constraining regulations and an uptick in shipping rates as the economy strengthens.  Shippers can expect a couple more months of neutral market conditions before an extended plunge in the metric that could last into 2019.

The Shippers Conditions Index is a compilation of factors affecting the shippers transport environment.  Any reading below zero indicates a less-than-ideal environment for shippers.  Readings below -10 signal conditions for shippers are approaching critical levels, based on available capacity and expected costs.  The December issue of FTR’s Shippers Update published December 6, 2016, details the factors affecting the October Shippers Conditions Index, along with the commentary: Data, Forecasts, and Uncertainty - Lessons from the Election..

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

Jonathan Starks, COO at FTR, commented, “Market activity for trucking is beginning to  improve, a combination of higher volumes and less truck capacity in operation. This trend should continue and will lead to higher rates and the potential for lower service levels. If you view the spot market as an early indicator, then we have seen steady improvement in loads and rates since this fall.

Shippers likely won’t be impacted well into 2017. Contract rates are still low and higher movement in this arena isn’t likely until after the winter bid season. I wouldn’t expect to see any significant improvement in contract rates until the latter half of 2017. The main reason is that the real capacity issues stem from the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) implementation that is scheduled for the end of 2017.”

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 Helen Lile at (888) 988-1699 ext. 1.
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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.