FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index falls sharply

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index falls sharply

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for October, as reported in the December Shippers Update, fell sharply to a -12.38 reading. October was the lowest reading since the all-time low was reached in March of this year reflecting worsening market conditions for shippers. The primary cause of the severe decline was the surge in diesel prices during the month, but was also negatively influenced by tighter capacity utilization. The most significant impact to the shippers’ environment remains freight rates.

“Shippers conditions should gradually ease in the new year with active truck utilization moving off of the full utilization level it has maintained since the recovery from the pandemic started in 2020, but active truck utilization is still expected to be at high levels throughout 2022 and it will take time for additional rail capacity to come online,” said Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR. “This will keep shippers’ conditions from improving dramatically or quickly in the new year. Uncertainty about the disruption that could be caused by the Omicron variant remains high and could prove to be a wild card for demand and supply early in the new year.”

The outlook for the SCI is for a gradual improvement over the next several months, but readings likely will remain at least mildly negative through 2022 and perhaps beyond.

The December issue of FTR’s Shippers Update, published Dec. 7, provides a detailed analysis of the factors affecting the October Shippers Conditions Index and provides the forecast for this index through October of 2022. The December issue includes a discussion of why the nearly complete recovery of payroll jobs in trucking does not describe what is happening with truckload drivers.

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.

You May Also Like

EUFMC releases conference speaker lineup

Fleet managers can unite at this year’s EUFMC, June 4-7.

With the 2023 EUFMC set to begin in early June, the conference educational program Driving Safety, Sustainability & Technical Expertise continues to take shape. Plans for presentations by fleet executives, manufacturers and industry experts during the two-day General Session include:

Keynote address

Brian L. Wolff, Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Vice President, Public Policy and External Affairs, Edison Electric Institute

Overall new equipment business volume down slightly Y/Y

According to ELFA findings, total headcount for equipment finance companies was down 4.6% year-over-year.

Growth rate of parts aftermarket sales continues to gradually decelerate

CMVC’s Parts Aftermarket Sales Leading Indicator signals slowing growth in commercial vehicle parts sales.

Eight fleets selected to participate in NACFE’s electrification initiative

The transition to electric vehicles is about much more than just the trucks themselves. It is about charging, infrastructure and more.


Other Posts

Optimizing your electrical system spring maintenance schedule 

The seven-way connection is the most prone area to the onset of corrosion.

U.S. trailer industry is committed nearly through 2023

Overall build rose 14% m/m due to three more build days in March as opposed to February.

Sysco unveils first heavy-duty EV hub

The Riverside project is a foundational step toward Sysco’s goal to reduce its direct emissions by 27.5% and add 2,800 electric trucks to its U.S. fleet by 2030.

Pacific Drayage Services shares emissions reduction trucking equipment strategy

With its Class 8 EV deployment underway, Pacific Drayage Services aims to provide sustainable transportation solutions.