Transportation analyst’s Shippers Conditions Index for March declined steeply from February, with further drops expected through the remainder of 2015 due to the impact of regulations on trucking capacity.
The transportation analyst FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index for March declined sharply from February and is expected to drop further the rest of 2015, the firm said Thursday.
The index, which attempts to measure factors affecting the shipper transport environment, fell to -4.9 in March from -1 in February. A reading below zero indicates a less-than-ideal environment for shippers, FTR said. Readings below 10 signal that conditions for shippers are approaching critical levels, based on available capacity and expected rates.
FTR forecasts the index will continue to fall deeper into negative territory “now that any bump from soft market conditions created by temporary cessation of regulatory drag and fuel cost reductions are evaporating.”
Barring a recession, FTR estimates the index will settle into a high single-digit negative reading through the rest of 2015.
“All current indicators point towards the timely implementation of ‘big ticket’ truck regulations in the near future, including electronic logging devices, speed limiters for heavy trucks, and the National Drug and Alcohol Database,” said FTR Senior Consultant Larry Gross. “These, among other regulations, will have a profound effect on available truck capacity, creating a shortage. The near-term crisis may be postponed if the economy slows significantly, however, something we are now watching for very closely given multiple warning signs in the economy.”
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