Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


FTR Shippers Condition Index remains mostly unchanged

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
May 15, 2012

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 headshot
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. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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!

Recent Entries

The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) August edition of the Manufacturing Report on Business saw its PMI, the ISM’s index to measure growth, fall 1.6 percent to 51.1, following a 0.8 percent decline to 52.7 in July. Even with the relatively slow growth over the last two months, the PI has been at 50 or higher for 31 consecutive months.

Hackett observed in the new report that China’s economy has lost steam, with actual growth falling short of targeted rates, while the United States most recent second quarter GDP reading at 3.7 percent outpaced expected targets, even though it was negatively impacted by gains in manufacturing and retail inventories.

The proposed merger of Cosco and CSCL could spark further container consolidation

The average price dropped 4.7 cents to $2.514 per gallon, which now stands at the lowest weekly average price for diesel since July 2009, when it was at $2.542 the week of July 27, 2009, according to EIA data.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico in June dropped 3.8 percent annually to $99.0 billion. This followed a 10.8 percent decline in May to $92.7 billion.

Article Topics

News · FTR Associates · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA