FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) in March dipped to a reading of 4.5 from the previous 5.1 reflecting slightly less favorable overall conditions. For only the third time since May 2020, all four freight factors for the SCI – freight demand, capacity utilization, rates, and fuel costs were positive contributors to the index.
“Despite the small decline, the overall story of positive shipper conditions and a stable outlook remains in place this month and are expected to hold firm for the balance of 2023. All four components of the index were positive for the first time since 2020 this month, signaling the lack of pressure in the system at the present time,” says Todd Tranausky, VP of rail and intermodal at FTR.
- More favorable rates and lower fuel costs were partially offset by tighter capacity and stronger volume.
- The outlook for shippers is stable through most of 2023.