Indicators: Conditions for shippers tumble to all-time low

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

Market conditions for shippers, according to FTR’s monthly Shippers Conditions Index, skidded to an all-time low in April, FTR said last week, due to the industry’s capacity crunch and sky-high rates.

However, says FTR, conditions for shippers have likely bottomed out. Shippers could see some relief in 2019, as fleets begin taking hold of truck orders placed in recent months. “Shippers facing significant increases in rates for truck and rail intermodal movements have not yet seen relief. However, record truck orders should begin hitting the market in the second half of the year, and we are closely watching the driver situation, which will determine if shippers see improvements as the trucks become available,” says Todd Tranausky, a senior transportation analyst for FTR.

Shippers will continue dealing with record-high rates, though, at least into 2019, says FTR. Rates are forecasted to climb 12 percent year over year in 2018 compared to 2017, and another 5 percent in 2019.

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index usually mirrors the group’s Trucking Conditions Index, meaning poorer conditions for shippers often translate to strong conditions for carriers.