The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with July data, showed an uptick in volumes and pricing moderating, with a still-strong supply-demand balance.
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@example.com 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, Driver Availability, Capacity, Productivity and Purchasing Intentions, plus a complimentary copy of ACT’s Transportation Digest report.
Tim Denoyer, Vice President and Senior Analyst at ACT Research, commented, “The reacceleration in truck volumes is consistent with strong demand for inventory restocking ahead of the holidays, along with network congestion on the railroads. With tight inventories, strong US consumer balance sheets, improving capex, and infrastructure stimulus in the pipeline, the fundamentals of the freight cycle remain clearly positive.”
He continued, “As volume growth reaccelerated, ACT’s For-Hire Pricing Index increased, making July’s reading the second best since the survey’s inception in June of 2009. With the driver market still tight, new equipment production still challenged and demand still strong, the recipe is right for record rate increases. However, driver hiring has begun to improve since the extended unemployment curtailments started in June, and response to higher driver pay rates should lead to more gradual progress.”
Regarding the supply-demand balance, Denoyer noted, “July’s strong 67.6 reading reflects the tightness in the current freight environment, with capacity remaining constrained and the increase from June primarily due to higher volumes. Class 8 retail sales are constrained by tight inventories and unmet production demand due to parts shortages, so equipment capacity is behind demand. With some structural driver issues likely to outlast the pandemic and a positive freight demand outlook, we do not expect the market balance to move quickly.”
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.
ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.
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