FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index Improved in November Due to Better Market Conditions

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for November improved to a -9.0 reading from October’s -12.4. October’s reading had been the lowest reading since the all-time low was reached in March of 2021.  Stable diesel prices in November led to better market conditions for shippers, but other factors still made for the toughest conditions since June aside from the October dip.  The outlook for the SCI is for mildly negative readings throughout 2022.

Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR, commented, “Shippers are unlikely to experience a material improvement in their conditions in 2022 as congestion and service issues will remain prevalent for most of the year. It is likely to be 2023 before shippers experience a material gain in the performance of the supply chain.”

The January issue of FTR’s Shippers Update, published Jan. 7 provides a detailed analysis of the factors affecting the November Shippers Conditions Index and provides the forecast for this index through November of 2022. The January issue also includes an analysis of a range of freight market forecast risks heading into 2022.

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.