FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for September reflected continued improvement in the environment for shippers with a new reading of -7.6, more than one point better than August. Overall conditions are still not favorable for shippers, but FTR expects its SCI measure to steadily moderate in 2019. Increasing capacity and productivity in both truck and intermodal, and the resulting stabilization in rate growth, should impact shippers positively through next year with the SCI forecast to reach a neutral reading by 2019 Q4.
“The slow improvement in conditions for shippers that was present toward the end of the summer continued in September, but it will be a slow crawl back to a neutral position over the next year,” said Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR. “Conditions for shippers are not as bad as they were earlier in 2018, but remain a long way from ideal.”