Indicators: ‘Shippers Conditions’ improve slightly as capacity crunch eases

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

With excessively tight capacity having eased some, shippers are experiencing relief, according to the latest Shippers Conditions Index from FTR. The index in August pointed toward improving conditions for shippers. The index hit an all-time low in May, signaling the worst conditions FTR has recorded since it began issuing the monthly reading.

The firm predicts that rate growth will moderate and that the index will enter more neutral territory by the middle of next year.

“Shippers have experienced some relief in recent weeks as trucking capacity has loosened and rail service stabilized,” says Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR. “However, going into the peak season and the potential for some shippers to pull forward imported volumes, it will bear watching to see if service continues to improve through the end of 2018.”

The index is a reading of freight demand, rates, fleet capacity and fuel pricing, with negative readings indicating poor conditions for shippers in the marketplace.