FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index for January Remains Slightly Positive

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for January reflects a balanced freight market. While the January SCI reading at 1.4 is slightly weaker than December’s 1.8 level, it continued in positive territory after consistent negative readings over the past two years. FTR forecasts the SCI to remain close to neutral through Q1 and then to rise slowly as the year progresses. However, even as the SCI is expected to peak in early 2019Q4, shippers’ conditions will be only marginally positive as capacity remains tight by historical standards.

FTR Shippers Conditions Index

Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR, commented, “Overall stable fuel prices and more available capacity than was experienced in 2018 will create a relatively calm environment.”

The Shippers Conditions Index tracks the changes representing four major conditions in the U.S. full-load freight market. These conditions are: 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 bad, pessimistic conditions. The index tells you the industry’s health at a glance.

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