BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Shipper conditions improved in August, reflecting a still-positive rate outlook, according to the latest FTR Shippers Condition Index.
The August reading of 6.4 was up from July, but lower than June’s 8.8 reading, which FTR says likely represents the peak of the current cycle. The industry forecaster predicts a softening in shipper conditions due to firmer freight rates, but the index is expected to remain positive for shippers through 2020.
“In my opinion, 2020 will be the wild card in determining overall shipper conditions at the start of next year,” said Todd Tranausky, vice-president of rail and intermodal. “But we expect overall shipper conditions to remain broadly positive until the second half of 2020 even as freight rates move higher over that period. Capacity remains available in both the rail and truck markets for shippers seeking to move freight.”