U.S. shippers saw conditions improve in April from the worst conditions on record, according to FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI).
The April reading of -11.9 was still heavily into negative territory but off the record low -17.8 seen in March.
FTR attributed the improvement to lower fuel costs and weaker freight volumes, but capacity utilization and rates remained high. It anticipates conditions for shippers will continue to improve, but remain negative, into next year.
“Shippers conditions improved in April, but are likely to remain decently negative through the balance of the year as utilization, rates, and overall transportation capacity remain tight,” said Todd Tranausky, vice-president, rail and intermodal with FTR.
“While April reflected some improvement, it is important to put that gain in the context of March’s record negative result. So, while things improved in April, they did so from an incredibly weak level, meaning conditions remain highly challenged for shippers in the marketplace across all modes.”