Conditions for U.S. shippers turned sharply downward in February, ahead of what’s expected to be further deterioration in March, according to the FTR Shippers Conditions Index.
The index plummeted to -17.9 in February, from -10.1 in January, marking the toughest month to date for shippers. Surging diesel price are to blame, with rate relief not coming fast enough to offset higher fuel costs, FTR reports.
“Uncertainty abounds going forward as the war in Ukraine rages, supply chains remain disrupted in China and elsewhere, and fuel prices are likely to remain high,” said FTR vice-president of rail and intermodal Todd Tranausky.
“This will put significant downward pressure on the index in March and many of those pressures add downward risk to the index through the balance of the year. There is the potential that a slowing economy improves conditions later in the year, but it is far too early to predict that with any certainty.”
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