FTR Shippers Conditions slightly less favorable in March

FTR Shippers Conditions slightly less favorable in March

Shippers Conditions Index dips, but positive factors maintain stable outlook, according to market research.

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index in March dipped to a reading of 4.5 from the previous 5.1 reflecting slightly less favorable overall conditions, and according to FTR, for only the third time since May 2020, all four freight factors for the SCI–freight demand, capacity utilization, rates, and fuel costs were positive contributors to the index. More favorable rates and lower fuel costs were partially offset by tighter capacity and stronger volume. The outlook for shippers suggests stability through most of 2023.

“Despite the small decline, the overall story of positive shipper conditions and a stable outlook remains in place this month and are expected to hold firm for the balance of 2023,” Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR, commented. “All four components of the index were positive for the first time since 2020 this month, signaling the lack of pressure in the system at the present time.”

The May issue of FTR’s Shippers Update, provides a detailed analysis of the factors affecting the March Shippers Conditions Index and provides the forecast for this index through March of 2024. The May edition also includes commentary addressing how the Federal Reserve’s recent annual revision of industrial production data affected FTR’s historical truck loadings estimates for specific equipment types.

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