Shipper conditions for October held steady in a reasonably favorable climate reflected in an unchanged SCI reading for the month of 6.4.
All index inputs were positive except for fuel, which was only slightly negative. However, the global reduction in the sulfur content of marine fuel--IMO 2020--could increasingly impact future fuel costs.
FTR projects the SCI to shift slightly lower, but still positive, at the start of 2020 as carriers’ capacity utilization begins to firm.
Todd Tranausky, vice-president of rail and intermodal at FTR, said: “The start of the new decade will dawn with shippers still in a positive position to get their freight moved. But this position is forecast to slowly erode over the next few months as capacity utilization starts to firm and shippers start to mitigate the effects of that change.”