FTR Shippers Condition Index improves in April

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FTR's Shippers Conditions Index for April improved from March to a reading of 3.0 as all index components were at least slightly favorable. 

Freight rates were the principal factor in better market conditions for shippers. FTR does forecast some deterioration soon with the SCI falling to more neutral readings in the months ahead. 

[RELATED: FTR offers insight on May trailer order dip]

"Freight rates in April were as favorable for shippers as they have been over the past year, but that climate likely will deteriorate modestly soon as capacity utilization has already begun to tighten a bit," says Avery Vise, FTR's vice president of trucking. "However, aside from unpredictable swings in fuel costs, we do not forecast negative SCI readings over the next couple of years that come close to matching the scope of positive readings recorded from mid-2022 through the end of 2023. Much can happen to change the situation, of course, but the freight market is shaping up to be much more balanced between shippers and carriers in 2025." 

FTR's Shippers Conditions Index tracks the changes representing four major conditions in the U.S. full-load freight market: freight demand, freight rates, fleet capacity and fuel price. The individual metrics are combined into a single index that tracks market conditions that influence the shippers' freight transport environment. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. A negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. 

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