Shippers received a boost from falling diesel prices, helping FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index remain positive in August, improving from 4.5 in July to 5.0.
Core freight conditions, including demand, capacity, utilization, and freight rates, also were mildly favorable for the month, FTR said.
The firm’s outlook is for market conditions to hover around the neutral territory, with some slightly positive and some slightly negative readings through 2023—when readings are expected to become more solidly negative.
“Shippers face multiple rounds of uncertainty in the coming months as diesel prices turn back higher and the harvest competes for capacity with other freight, while overall active trucking utilization eases back toward its historical average,” said Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR.
The Shippers Conditions Index tracks the changes representing four major conditions in the U.S. full-load freight market: Freight demand, freight rates, fleet capacity, and fuel price. The individual metrics are combined into a single index that tracks the market conditions that influence the shippers’ freight transport environment.
A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. A negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions.