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June 17, 2014 8:55 AM, EDT
Shipping Conditions Index Rises in April
KOMU Photo/ Matthew Schmertz

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index increased one point in April, but the rise does not signal real improvement in trucking capacity which remains tight, according to the firm.

The SCI in April rose to a reading of -7.7. Readings below zero indicate a less-than-ideal environment for shippers, and readings below 10 signal conditions are approaching critical levels, according to FTR.

“The shipping situation is not as critical as it was just a few months ago when weather-related issues disrupted the supply chain. However, we are still near a tipping point. If the economy starts to accelerate as we move through the summer months, additional strain would be put on an already-fragile capacity situation,” Lawrence Ross, a senior consultant for FTR, said in a statement.

“Shippers should expect carriers to push rates higher as we move through the year. The biggest pressure will come from trucking companies who continue to struggle finding qualified drivers to move freight,” he said.