Shippers saw relief in December due to short-lived fuel pullback
Conditions facing U.S. shippers improved in December, primarily due to falling fuel prices in the month.
FTR’S Shippers Conditions Index read -6.9 in December, down from November’s reading of -9.
However, the industry forecaster says a surge in diesel costs since then mean shippers will face increasing pressure.
“There is a heightened amount of uncertainty once again in the Shippers Conditions Index,” said Todd Tranausky, vice-president of rail and intermodal.
“The improvement in fuel prices that powered an improvement in December will not carry over into the new year and may in fact turn into a negative factor in the coming months. Tensions in Eastern Europe threaten to elevate and sustain fuel prices at high levels and add volatility to global supply chains. Each of these factors could pressure the index significantly in the months ahead.”
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