Conditions for U.S. shippers improved in September, and should improve further into 2019, according to the latest FTR Shippers Conditions Index (SCI).
The September reading was -7.6, still strongly in truckers’ favour, but was more than a point better than in August. Overall conditions are still not favourable for shippers, but FTR projects they will moderate in 2019.
Increasing capacity and productivity in trucking and intermodal, and stabilizing rate growth, should impact shippers positively through next year with a neutral rating expected by the fourth quarter of 2019, FTR says.
“The slow improvement in conditions for shippers that was present toward the end of the summer continued in September, but it will be a slow crawl back to a neutral position over the next year,” said Todd Tranausky, vice-president of rail and intermodal. “Conditions for shippers are not as bad as they were earlier in 2018, but remain a long way from ideal.”