FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) improved in October to a barely negative -0.3 reading from the previous -3.1 in September. Aside from a large increase in diesel prices during the month, shippers’ market conditions were more positive m/m. The greatest improvement resulted from a loosening of capacity utilization to the most favorable climate since May 2020 and freight volume and rates were marginally more favorable in October. The outlook is somewhat volatile but should be mostly negative.
“A trend toward weakening diesel prices will aid shipper conditions in the months ahead along with weakening truck utilization which should allow for additional capacity to open up and help stabilize shipper conditions for at least a period of time before things turn negative again in 2023,” said Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR.