The Shippers Conditions Index — produced monthly by FTR Associates — improved in October month over month by about two points, but projections show that this improvement will give way to “a gradual deterioration in shipping conditions as 2012 ends and throughout 2013,” says an announcement from FTR.
FTR says that impending regulations on the industry and the slow rise of freight volume will spur conditions’ decline.
“Shippers need to be aware that the current relatively benign conditions are not expected to last,” says Larry Gross, senior consultant for FTR. “The fundamentals of our economy are improving and will continue to do so unless our government snatches defeat from the jaws of victory by failing to reach a fiscal cliff agreement in a reasonably timely fashion. Areas of strength include a recovering housing sector and low energy prices. Changes in trucking regulations are looming although court challenges may yet throw a monkey wrench into the proceedings, delaying implementation and the resulting tightening of capacity. But putting it all together, FTR feels the most likely outcome will be a more difficult scenario for shippers in 2013.”