Shipper conditions steady in June: FTR report

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NASHVILLE, Ind. — Shipper conditions for June were basically unchanged from the previous month, according to FTR Associates’ Shippers Conditions Index (SCI). The SCI sums up all market influences that affect shippers; a reading above zero suggests a favourable shipping environment, while a reading below zero is unfavourable. The current reading remains in near neutral territory at -1.8.

“The current reading reflects the inability of carriers to increase rates in what is turning out to be a disappointing economic recovery, so shippers are holding their own right now,” said FTR officials in a release. “However, the index is expected to fall as we head into 2013 when regulations affecting trucking fleet productivity will reduce available shipping capacity and put a strain on shippers’ ability to find fleets willing to haul their freight at rates that are advantageous to them.”

Details of the current factors affecting the June Shippers Conditions Index are found in the August issue of FTR’s Shippers Update published Aug. 9.

“The freight markets are currently in a state of fragile equilibrium, which we expect to persist in some form through the peak shipping season,” said Larry Gross, senior consultant for FTR. “Weak economic growth is leading to very slow growth in freight demand. This is being countered by strong discipline by carriers, resulting in an environment where rates are rising quite slowly and capacity remains generally available.”

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