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August 19, 2014 10:20 AM, EDT
Shipping Conditions Index Rises in June

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index increased one point in June, but the firm forecasts the improvement may be short-lived.

The SCI in June rose to a reading of -6.5. 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 firm projects the index will fall back again in July and settle for the rest of the year.

“While the June SCI moved in a positive way for shippers, it still remains quite negative and highlights that they are operating in a capacity-constrained environment,” Jonathan Starks, FTR director of transportation analysis, said in a statement.

“To date in this recovery, aside from the weather-plagued winter of 2014, freight growth has been both fairly stable and relatively modest. This has allowed fleets to operate with very little excess capacity and keep contract rates relatively low as they focused on baseload contracts,” Starks said.