The latest Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) from FTR Associates reflects continuing tightness in capacity for carriers and shippers. The SCI fell to -6.8 for August and should remain near that mark through the end of this year, FTR said.

Shipping costs, along with the ability to find capacity, will begin to grow worse in 2013 as economic conditions improve just as new federal regulations kick in, FTR said. Details of these challenges facing carriers and shippers are included in FTR’s Shippers Update, published Oct. 5

“Attendees at the recently concluded FTR Transportation Conference concurred that freight markets currently are mired in a sluggish but stable state,” said Larry Gross, senior consultant for FTR. “Disciplined carriers are therefore holding back on any capacity additions, setting the stage for tightening as conditions evolve through the early part of next year. Barring another significant stumble in the overall economy, we expect things to look substantially different a year from now.”

The Shippers Update looks at conditions that will affect the cost and efficiency of shipping goods via all domestic surface transportation modes.