The Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) reading from FTR remains in significantly negative territory in May at a -12.3 reading. The April SCI reading of -13.4 hit an all-time low reflecting the worse conditions for shippers ever measured by FTR. While conditions continue to be tough for shippers, the environment for them could slowly stabilize through the year. However, the overall conditions for shippers are still expected to remain negative through 2019. Economic indicators generally suggest continued strength in freight volume, keeping capacity tight and rates up.
Todd Tranausky, Senior Transportation Analyst at FTR, comments, “Shippers are in an extended period of difficult conditions because of a tight truck market and sub-par rail service. While conditions are expected to stabilize, there is unlikely to be a significant improvement for shippers before the end of the year.”