Conditions for U.S. shippers are the worst they’ve been since FTR began tracking them via its Shippers Conditions Index.
A record-low reading of -17.8 reflects deteriorating conditions in all metrics the index tracks. FTR anticipates conditions for shippers will improve in coming months but remain negative into 2022.
“While May and June are expected to be the worst months for shippers as rate increases in truck and rail hit their peak for the year, it is possible that the tight conditions could persist for longer,” said Todd Tranausky, vice-president of rail and intermodal at FTR.
“Capacity is expected to remain a constraining factor for transportation through the end of 2021 as truck and rail each struggle to regain employees lost during the pandemic. Strong consumer and industrial demand mean freight volumes will remain strong at the same time, setting up a challenged market for shippers over the next few months.”