The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with October data, showed a second consecutive month of record tightness. October’s Volume Index was flat at 70.7 (SA), while Pricing dropped two points to 69.2, but still a top-decile result. With capacity and driver availability in contraction territory, at 45.8 and 28.6, respectively, the combination of strong demand and tight supply pushed the Supply-Demand Balance to its tightest level in survey history, now at 74.9.
The ACT For-Hire Trucking Index is a monthly survey of for-hire trucking service providers. ACT Research converts responses into diffusion indexes, where the neutral or flat activity level is 50. Please contact us at [email protected] if you are a for-hire executive interested in participating. In return, participants receive a detailed monthly analysis of the survey data, including Volumes, Freight Rates, Capacity, Productivity and Purchasing Intentions, plus a complimentary copy of ACT’s Transportation Digest report.
Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst commented, “As capacity tightened further, volume (demand) remained elevated, tightening the market balance even further from already tight levels in recent months.”
He added, “Class 8 retail sales have improved recently, suggesting equipment capacity will start to grow over the next few quarters, but as a steel shortage could constrain production and with ongoing driver market constraints, tightness is likely to continue in the near-term. We would still expect some loosening after the holiday season, as parked trucks are redeployed when extended unemployment benefits expire, but strong demand from restocking should keep the market fairly tight in the near-term.”
The ACT Freight Forecast provides forecasts for the direction of truck volumes and contract rates quarterly through 2020 with three years of annual forecasts for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal segments of the transportation industry. For the truckload spot market, the report provides forecasts for the next twelve months. In 2019, the average accuracy of the report’s truckload spot rate forecasts was 98%. The ACT Research Freight Forecast uses equipment capacity modeling and the firm’s economics expertise to provide unprecedented visibility for the future of freight rates, helping businesses in transportation and logistics management plan for the future with confidence.
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