Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


FTR’s Shippers Condition Index continues to decrease

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
March 25, 2013

Typically, when things are going well for carriers, it often means they are not going as well for shippers. Based on the most recent edition of the Shipper Conditions Index (SCI) from freight transportation consultancy FTR Associates that appears to be the current trend.

January’s SCI, which represents data for the most recent month available, was -7.1, which is down 2 percentage points from December. 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. May 2011’s -11.4 was the worst SCI reading of this current economic cycle.

FTR said that the SCI represents “deteriorating conditions” for shippers early in 2013, with the SCI forecast expected to continue moving down as the year moves on, approaching negative double-digits by the end of 2013.

This, said FTR, will result in increased freight rates as volumes continue their slow crawl, with capacity expected to be hindered by regulations, including motor carriers hours-of-service (HOS), which is expected to kick off in July and limit available time trucks can spend on the road with subsequent increases in rates and decreases in available capacity.

FTR Senior Consultant Larry Gross told LM that back in 2004 there was a combination of a change in HOS and a growing economy, which resulted in about two years of freight increases.

“Now, this year, we have a raft of regulatory changes, plus a growing economy, with the new HOS rules as currently constructed likely to stand,” he said. “We are setting ourselves up for a 2004 replay, but the pressure on the driver supply and capacity is going to be considerably longer than the one-shot event that occurred in 2004. So we see the prospect for a negative rate environment extending much further.”

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

While shippers ready themselves for the long Labor Day weekend, we’d like to remind them that new security and compliance regulations are - as always – looming ahead.

United States Class I carloads were down 56,104 carloads–or 4.6 percent annually–at 1,115,957 in August, and intermodal containers and trailers were up 3.6 percent--or 38,617 units- at 1,114,370.

A new report from Chicago-based freight transportation and logistics consultancy CarrierDirect released this week examines current freight market conditions and what logistics and supply chain stakeholders need to do and know in order to stay one step ahead of the competition.

You’ve heard the old saying, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Rob Handfield sees this as the best of times for procurement professionals, who have an opportunity to deliver real value to their organizations

While core metrics were down from a very impressive July, the August edition of the Non-Manufacturing Report on Business from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) was still very strong.

Article Topics

News · FTR Associates · HOS · trucking · SCI · 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