FTR Associates reported that its Shippers Condition Index (SCI) remained in low territory in February with a value of -5.2. FTR expects the index to fall further as the outlook for capacity shortages worsen in the seasonally strong spring months, and that total shipping costs will accelerate rapidly driven by growth in transport costs. The SCI sums up all market influences that affect shippers; a reading above zero suggests a favorable shipping environment, while a reading below zero is unfavorable.
“Shippers should not be heartened by the modest upward movement in the index this month,” says Noel Perry, FTR senior consultant. “That is simply the effect of the normal seasonal weakness of freight in February. The March number will drop sharply as the spring surge in freight arrives.”