The Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) fell sharply again in February to
-17.9 after dropping to -10.1 in January. The February reading narrowly beats March 2021 as the toughest month to date for shippers. The record won’t last long as March is expected to be much lower still as some rate relief will not nearly offset a surge in diesel prices. For now, SCI forecasts for the balance of the year past March is for the measure to moderate into a low single digit negative range.
VP of Rail & Intermodal
Todd Tranausky commented, “Uncertainty abounds going forward as the war in Ukraine rages, supply chains remain disrupted in China and elsewhere, and fuel prices are likely to remain high. This will put significant downward pressure on the index in March and many of those pressures add downward risk to the index through the balance of the year. There is the potential that a slowing economy improves conditions later in the year, but it is far too early to predict that with any certainty.”