Conditions were little changed for shippers in February, with an environment that was mostly favorable and stable.
Industry analyst FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index fell slightly on the month, to 5.1 from a 5.4 reading in January. Slightly lower fuel costs and relatively weak freight demand offset stronger rates and utilization for the month, FTR reported.
It anticipates market conditions will remain “modestly favorable” for shippers through the year, with gradual weakening next year.
“A relatively stable, slightly favorable outlook for shippers is unlikely to be moved over the next few months,” said Todd Tranausky, FTR’s vice-president of rail and intermodal. “But shippers need to carefully watch for signs the market will change as that could occur quickly. Shippers also need to closely watch the underlying economy for signs of change that could alter the economic calculus between shippers and their transportation providers.”