FTR Shippers Condition Index remains mostly unchanged

Business conditions impacting shippers remain largely unchanged, according to the most recent edition of the Shippers Condition Index (SCI) from freight transportation forecasting firm FTR Associates.

By ·

Business conditions impacting shippers remain largely unchanged, according to the most recent edition of the Shippers Condition Index (SCI) from freight transportation forecasting firm FTR Associates.

The SCI showed a 0.3 percent improvement to -5.3 in March (the month for which most recent data is available) from -5.6 in February.

A reading above 0 suggests a favorable shipping environment, and FTR describes the SCI as an indicator that sums up all market influences that affect shippers, with a reading above zero being favorable and a reading below zero being unfavorable. The SCI in January, December, and November was -4.8, -4.8, and 6.1. May 2011’s -11.4 was the worst SCI reading of this current economic cycle.

FTR officials said that the current SCI reading is indicative of a moderately unfavorable condition that is expected to persist until the onset of the busy fall shipping season at which point capacity will tighten up even further. They added that by later this year and into 2013, the situation may get worse for shippers, as their options for available capacity become even more limited while rates increase when truck driver hours-of-service regulations are expected to go into effect by mid-2013.

“The forces that are in motion now are slow but very powerful,” said FTR Senior Consultant Larry Gross in an interview. “Unless the economy turns solid in a big way, things are going to get tougher for shippers, especially as new regulations take hold. From a shippers’ standpoint, rates will go up, and capacity will get harder to find.”

This was made clear at the recent NASSTRAC Logistics Conference and Expo, when various carriers told LM that rate hikes, especially on the trucking side, will be coming to help off-set their increased expenses being brought on my steep equipment costs, labor, and regulations, among other factors.


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

FTR Associates · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
How Lean is your Lean Quality Program?
Avoid quality program bureaucracy that can sap logistics productivity and increase costs
Download Today!
From the September 2016 Issue
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and organizational structure—finds many companies waiting to commit to a strategic path. However, waiting too long will only result in a competitive disadvantage that will be difficult to overcome in today’s fast-paced, global economy.
Time for Asia’s ports to rebuild
Is the freight recession upon us…again?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Supply Chain Best Practices: Visibility to In-Transit Inventory
During this webcast you'll learn on how various organizations have gained instant access to in-transit parcels and given access to this information to stakeholders.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...
2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...

Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....