FTR Shippers Conditions Index Improves in October

FTR Associates’ Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for October improved month over month by nearly two points to a reading of -5.0.

FTR projections indicate that the current improvement will yield to a gradual deterioration in shipping conditions as 2012 ends and throughout 2013. FTR has been forecasting that the combination of new trucking regulations and slowly rising freight volumes will cause a tightening of capacity. Although the capacity situation is not expected to reach an acute phase, it will be sufficient to result in higher rates for shippers.

Details of the factors affecting the October Shippers Conditions Index are found in the December issue of FTR’s Shippers Update published December 12, 2012.

“Shippers need to be aware that the current relatively benign conditions are not expected to last,” said Larry Gross, Senior Consultant for FTR. “The fundamentals of our economy are improving and will continue to do so unless our government snatches defeat from the jaws of victory by failing to reach a fiscal cliff agreement in a reasonably timely fashion.

“Areas of strength include a recovering housing sector and low energy prices. Changes in trucking regulations are looming although court challenges may yet throw a monkey wrench into the proceedings, delaying implementation and the resulting tightening of capacity. But putting it all together, FTR feels the most likely outcome will be a more difficult scenario for shippers in 2013.”

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