FTR Shippers Conditions Index paints positive picture for business conditions

For May, the most recent month for which data is available, the SCI jumped to 5.6, following a 1.9 reading in April, which was almost a full point below March’s 2.8, and marked the highest reading in more than two tears, going back to August 2016.

 

Freight transportation consultancy FTR reported this week that the most recent edition of the Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) saw solid growth, after taking a step back in its previous edition for the first time in seven months.

FTR describes the SCI as an indicator that sums up all market influences that affect the transport environment for shippers, with a reading above zero being favorable and a reading below zero being unfavorable and a “less-than-ideal environment for shippers.”

For May, the most recent month for which data is available, the SCI jumped to 5.6, following a 1.9 reading in April, which was almost a full point below March’s 2.8, and marked the highest reading in more than two tears, going back to August 2016. February was at 0.6, and January and December were at 1.4 and 1.8, respectively.

FTR said that current market conditions are “the most favorable for shippers in years and are expected to continue in the current range for the remainder of 2019,” adding that the principal strength is the continued softening of truckload and intermodal rates, with rail rates stabilizing.

The firm added that fuel prices could put some pressure on shipper costs, due to the recent rise in crude prices, with the caveat that those increases have appeared to level off at less than $60 per barrel.

“Softness in freight volumes combined with more abundant capacity in the truckload market than was present last year have made it a good time to be a shipper,” said Todd Tranausky, FTR vice president of intermodal and rail, in a statement. “Sustained weakness in freight volumes through the summer suggests the positive results for shippers could continue for much of the rest of 2019.”

 

Originally published on Logistics Management