Industry analysis provider FTR Transportation Intelligence has developed a new metric for assessing the competitiveness of intermodal transport versus over-the-road truck transport called the Intermodal Competitive Index.

In its inaugural assessment, the ICI stood at a level of 4.8, indicating generally positive but not stellar intermodal conditions. Improved service and rising fuel prices are seen as positives by FTR, but slack demand and higher truck capacity factored into the equation as negatives.

The ICI was designed to build on FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index and Shippers Condition Indexm which take the temperature of other important aspects of the trucking industry. The ICI combines different factors, including relative rates versus truck, industry capacity versus demand, fuel prices and intermodal service levels.

Figures above 0 indicate favorable conditions for intermodal to compete with truck. Figures above 10 show extremely favorable conditions that result in substantial truck and intermodal conversion. Negative numbers indicate less aggressive modal share gains for intermodal and potentially reduced share.

“The Intermodal Competitive Index will allow readers to assess the trend of where intermodal stands versus truck transport at a glance,” said Larry Goss, FTR partner and intermodal analyst. “This is the latest in a series of enhancements that we have added to the Intermodal Update publication in recent months.”

FTR will host a free webinar to review the latest intermodal trends on May 11 at 11 a.m. EDT. To register click here.