FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for August improved by a little more than one point from July to a reading of -8.8. After hitting an all-time low in May, the SCI has steadily moved upward, albeit still in significantly negative territory. Overall, shippers are experiencing some relief from excessively tight capacity, and FTR expects that to continue with rate growth moderating accordingly. By mid- to late-2019 the SCI could be recording neutral readings.
Todd Tranausky, Vice President of Rail and Intermodal at FTR, comments, “Shippers have experienced some relief in recent weeks as trucking capacity has loosened and rail service stabilized. However, going into the peak season and the potential for some shippers to pull forward imported volumes, it will bear watching to see if service continues to improve through the end of 2018.”