FTR: Neutral outlook despite Shippers Conditions Index improvements

FTR: Neutral outlook despite Shippers Conditions Index improvements

Stable diesel prices and slightly more favorable rates resulted in a better market for shippers in March, but conditions may deteriorate soon.

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index for March improved to a reading of 1.2 from -1.4 in February. The company says stable diesel prices and slightly more favorable rates resulted in a better market for shippers during March, but conditions look to deteriorate somewhat in the coming months.

“The SCI returned to mildly positive territory in March after February’s negative reading that mostly was due to fuel costs’ said Avery Vise, FTR’s vice president of trucking. “The next couple of months still look favorable for shippers, but we expect the index to trend toward more neutral and slightly negative readings by the second half of this year due to modestly stronger capacity utilization and less favorable rates. Even so, we expect any weakness in shippers’ market conditions over the next couple of years to be far milder than what they had encountered from late 2020 through the middle of 2022.”

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