Indicators: Tight capacity keeps market pressures for shippers in ‘solidly negative territory’

CCJ‘s Indicators rounds up the latest reports on trucking business indicators on rates, freight, equipment, the economy and more.

Though shippers saw a brief reprieve in November from the market conditions that have been pinching them in recent months, a tight truck market and continued freight growth will continue to tilt the market in favor of carriers and against shippers, according to FTR’s most recent Shippers Conditions Index report.

“The economy continues to expand and ELD enforcement is still around the corner, so shippers won’t find too much relief in the first half of the year,” says FTR Chief Operating Officer Jon Starks. “Markets will adjust as we move through the year. Carriers will add some capacity, and shippers will develop more ‘carrier-friendly’ operations. However, that will not stop the market from being severely taxed for a majority of 2018 and prices paid for the transporting of goods will reflect that reality.”

FTR did say in its report that pressure could ease on shippers later in 2018, but economic expansion in the near term could cause conditions for shippers to worsen further before they improve.