ECONOMIC WATCH: Shipper conditions worst in two years

by Today's Trucking

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – U.S. shippers faced their toughest conditions in two years in August, according to FTR’s latest Shippers Conditions Index (SCI).

The index fell into negative territory with a reading of -1.79, just four months after the index showed shippers enjoying their strongest market conditions on record.

(Source: FTR)

The SCI was weighed by favorable rate conditions for carriers. FTR anticipates shipper conditions will improve in the short-term, but will be significantly negative in the second half of 2021 as capacity tightens and rates increase.

“A rapid rise in freight volume coming out of the pandemic as retailers try to restock shelves quickly ahead of the holiday shopping season has created a deterioration in shippers’ power with carriers,” said Todd Tranausky, vice-president of rail and intermodal for FTR. “The good news is that things should hold fairly neutral in the first half of 2021, but shippers will face more negative pressures in the final two quarters of 2021.”

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