Photo: Jim Park

Photo: Jim Park

FTR’s Intermodal Competitive Index dropped in May reflecting a domestic intermodal sector that is still experiencing somewhat difficult competitive conditions.

The ICI dropped 1.2 points in May to a reading of 3.5, marking its lowest level since last September. The index is a compilation of factors affecting the competitive posture of the domestic North American intermodal sector compared to over-the-road trucking.

Any reading below zero indicates a less-than-ideal environment for intermodal while readings above zero are relatively favorable.

While the index dropped compared to April, FTR stressed that the domestic intermodal sector still remains in a mildly favorable standpoint compared to OTR.

“May’s ICI was adversely affected by relatively weak intermodal volumes and downward rate pressure,” said Larry Goss, partner at FTR and author of the Intermodal Update. “While intermodal is not currently experiencing the robust growth to which we have been accustomed, the fundamentals still look solid, with truck capacity expected to tighten as we move into 2017 due to the approaching Federal Electronic Logging Device mandate. Fuel prices are also moving up, which provides some tailwind for intermodal.”

Details of the factors affecting the May ICI, along with a  closer look at market conditions and projections going forward, are found in the July issue of FTR’s Intermodal Update.