FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index drops to -6.2 reading
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FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index drops to -6.2 reading

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FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) fell back in May to a -6.2 reading. After relatively stable diesel prices in April, large increases in May coupled with tighter capacity utilization led to tougher market conditions despite some rate relief. The outlook for the SCI is for little change as utilization and rates are expected to remain mildly unfavorable for shippers. Occasional positive readings are possible depending on changes in fuel costs and market dynamics. 

“There is a lot of uncertainty in the weeks and months ahead as congestion remains a front burner issue for anyone moving freight through the port and rail supply chain,” said Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal, FTR. “There is no easy solution to the congestion woes facing the ports and rail carriers, and it is unlikely to improve meaningfully before the peak season ramps up.”

The June issue of FTR’s Shippers Update provides a detailed analysis of the factors affecting the April Shippers Conditions Index and provides the forecast for this index through May of 2023. The July issue also includes a discussion of the dynamics currently supporting a shift of freight demand back to larger contract carriers from smaller carriers and the spot market.

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