FTR’s July Shippers Conditions Index fell reflecting least favorable market conditions for shippers

FTR’s July Shippers Conditions Index fell reflecting least favorable market conditions for shippers

Fuel costs aside, gradually stronger freight volumes, utilization, and rates likely will soften conditions toward neutral by mid-2024.

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) fell significantly in July to 1.6 from June’s 7.9 reading. All components of the SCI were weaker in July than in June, but the most significant changes were stronger capacity utilization and higher fuel costs, FTR notes. July market conditions for shippers were the least favorable in nearly a year, resulting in the weakest SCI since October 2022.

Fuel costs will be an even bigger hit to the August SCI, according to FTR. Fuel costs aside, gradually stronger freight volumes, utilization, and rates likely will soften conditions toward neutral by mid-2024, according to the press release.
 
“Stronger fuel costs were a driver of the Shippers Conditions Index to its lowest level in nearly a year. With rising crude oil prices, it appears the stronger diesel prices are with the industry for the foreseeable future,” said Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR. “This will limit how positive the SCI can be in future months and put it on a trajectory to hold near neutral unless fuel prices make another jump higher, in which case they could turn more sharply negative.” 

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