Freight transportation consultancy FTR reported this week that the most recent edition of its Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) remained positive.
FTR describes the SCI as an indicator that sums up all market influences that affect the transport environment for shippers, with a reading above zero being favorable and a reading below zero being unfavorable and a “less-than-ideal environment for shippers.”
For August, the most recent month for which data is available, the SCI was flat at 6.4, with FTR saying that all SCI measures were positive, with less favorable fuel pricing offsetting more favorable freight volume, capacity utilization, and logistics cost factors.
Looking ahead to 2020, FTR said that it expects to SCI to trend towards neutral, with freight demand softening and capacity utilization remaining firm. And it added that the potential impact of a global reduction in the sulfur content of marine fuel related to IMO 2020 is viewed as what it called a wildcard.
“Shippers’ place in the freight market remains solidly positive as the year moves into its final quarter,” said Todd Tranausky, FTR vice president of intermodal and rail in a statement. “We expect shippers’ position in the marketplace to slowly deteriorate in 2020 as capacity tightens and freight demand recovers.”
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