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U.S. shippers see worsening conditions

Industry forecaster FTR says its Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) fell in May to a -6.2 reading, thanks to rising fuel prices in May coupled with tight capacity utilization.

Those factors offset some rate relief enjoyed by shippers. FTR says its outlook for the index reflects little change as utilization and rates are likely to remain “mildly unfavorable” for shippers.

“There is a lot of uncertainty in the weeks and months ahead as congestion remains a front burner issue for anyone moving freight through the port and rail supply chain,” said Todd Tranausky, FTR’s vice-president – rail and intermodal. “There is no easy solution to the congestion woes facing the ports and rail carriers, and it is unlikely to improve meaningfully before the peak season ramps up.”

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