The March issue of FTR Associates’ Shippers Update reports that total shipping costs will accelerate rapidly driven by a growth in transport costs. FTR’s Shippers Condition Index (SCI) remained in low territory for February with a value of -5.2, with the expectation that the index will fall further as capacity shortages worsen during the seasonally strong spring months.

The SCI sums up all market influences that affect shippers. A reading above zero suggests a favorable shipping environment, while a reading below zero is unfavorable.

“Shippers should not be heartened by the modest upward movement in the index this month,” said Noel Perry, senior consultant for FTR. “That is simply the effect of the normal seasonal weakness of freight in February. The March number will drop sharply as the spring surge in freight arrives.”

The March Shippers Update also includes commentary on proposed federal regulation on speed controls and how this and other upcoming regulations are likely to impact carriers.

For information on subscribing to the Shippers Update, send an e-mail to or call 888-988-1699 ext. 1.