Conditions for U.S. shippers are gradually improving but remain challenging, according to the August FTR Shippers Conditions Index.
The negative reading of -6.8 improved from July’s -8.1 levels, due to a slight loosening of capacity and marginally lower fuel costs.
However, FTR noted “the relief is so incremental as to be of little value.”
“Conditions in August continued to head in the right direction, though not enough to provide relief for shippers,” said Todd Tranausky, vice-president of rail and intermodal with FTR. “This is, however, as good as it will get for 2021. Shippers conditions are likely to degrade as the year wears on and demands for holiday shipping ramp up. Fuel, in particular, is expected to be a significant headwind as prices have increased dramatically heading into the winter season.”
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