Transportation News

Shippers Conditions Index shows slight improvement, says FTR

While market conditions for shippers remain challenging, they appear to be not as dire, or “less worse” than earlier in the year, according to the most recent edition of the Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) issued this week by freight transportation consultancy FTR.

While market conditions for shippers remain challenging, they appear to be not as dire, or “less worse” than earlier in the year, according to the most recent edition of the Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) issued this week by freight transportation consultancy FTR.

FTR describes the SCI as an indicator that sums up all market influences that affect the transport environment for shippers, with a reading above zero being favorable and a reading below zero being unfavorable and a “less-than-ideal environment for shippers.”

For July, the most recent month for which data is available, the SCI came in at -9.9, which was in close range to June’s -9.5. While these readings are firmly in negative territory, they represent an improvement over May’s -12.3 and April’s -13.4.

FTR said that moving forward it expects the SCI to moderate until it reaches what it called the “least favorable” level of this current cycle in mid-2019. And it added that key freight generators, including manufacturing, construction, retail sales, and the inventory-to-sales ratio, are solid and have a positive outlook for the coming months.

“Stabilization in rail service levels and some easing in the trucking market led to a steady SCI this month,” said Todd Tranausky, vice president for rail and intermodal at FTR, in a statement. “But conditions have not shown any sign of improvement for shippers as they head toward peak season and a potential end-of-year rush before new tariffs take effect on January 1. While things are stable, the SCI indicates that things remain far from ideal for shippers.”


Article Topics
Railroad Shipping   SCI   tariffs   Trucking   All topics


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