Shippers Conditions fell in May due to higher diesel, tighter capacity

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Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, July 28, 2022:

FTR’s Shippers Conditions dropped in May

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) fell back in May to a -6.2 reading. After relatively stable diesel prices in April, large increases in May coupled with tighter capacity utilization led to tougher market conditions despite some rate relief.

The outlook for the SCI is for little change, as utilization and rates are expected to remain mildly unfavorable for shippers. Occasional positive readings are possible depending on changes in fuel costs and market dynamics, FTR said. 

“There is a lot of uncertainty in the weeks and months ahead as congestion remains a front burner issue for anyone moving freight through the port and rail supply chain,” said Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR. “There is no easy solution to the congestion woes facing the ports and rail carriers, and it is unlikely to improve meaningfully before the peak season ramps up.”

The Shippers Conditions Index tracks the changes representing four major conditions in the U.S. full-load freight market: freight demand, freight rates, fleet capacity and fuel price. The individual metrics are combined into a single index that tracks the market conditions that influence the shippers’ freight transport environment. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. A negative score represents poor, pessimistic conditions.

Nominate a driver for Pilot’s Road Warrior contest

Pilot Flying J this week announced the return of its annual Road Warrior contest with the largest prize total in history.

This year’s $30,000 Road Warrior contest will recognize and reward three truck drivers who go the extra mile in their jobs and communities.

From Aug. 1 through Aug. 15, Pilot will be accepting nominations for the chance to be named the 2022 Road Warrior.

Submissions should highlight the driver’s contributions to the trucking industry, safe driving history, community involvement, miles driven, and other meaningful stories about the nominee. Three winners will be selected with cash prizes including $15,000 for the grand prize winner, $10,000 for second place, and $5,000 for third place.

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“We are honored to recognize the selflessness, dedication and service of professional truck drivers who are working hard to deliver the goods that we all rely on,” said David Hughes, Senior Vice President of Sales for Pilot Flying J. “Our annual Road Warrior contest is an opportunity to highlight those individuals who are role models in the trucking industry and to say thank you to all the drivers out there for letting us be part of your journey to keep the country moving.”

To enter, visit the Road Warrior contest page beginning Aug. 1 and submit a nomination through Aug. 15 for a professional driver deserving of this recognition. The winners will be announced at the end of September as part of National Truck Driver Appreciation Month.

Last year’s grand prize winner was Eric Curlett, a Marine Corps veteran and glass hauler for Maverick Transportation. He was nominated by a fellow driver who described him as “one of the best humans” he has ever met. Curlett was chosen for his dedication to the profession, outstanding driver record, and involvement in his community.