Freight Forecast: ACT Research Achieves 98% Accuracy Truckload Spot Rate Forecasting in 2019

ACT Research Co.
3 min readJan 13, 2020

ACT Research released the January installment of the ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK report covering the truckload, intermodal, LTL and last mile sectors.

The ACT Freight Forecast provides three-year forecasts for volumes and contract rates for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal segments of the transportation industry, and for the truckload spot market, the report forecasts the next twelve months. The Freight Forecast provides unmatched detail on the future of freight rates, helping businesses across the supply chain plan their businesses with greater certainty.

Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst, said, “With the 2019 spot market data now complete, our truckload spot rate forecasts achieved 98% accuracy on average. In fact, in the first report we released in February 2019, our Q4’19 and full-year 2019 truckload spot rate were on target down to the penny. We’re very thankful to all of the subscribers who have supported this research.”

He continued, “What differentiates our service is an unparalleled understanding of Class 8 tractor capacity. Our data science tells us capacity is the main driver of rates in the long-term.”

ACT’s Truckload Rate Gauge has begun to show a more balanced environment, but continues to favor shippers as we enter 2020. The freight volume downturn is not over yet and the capacity rebalancing is still in the early stages, but we see gradual improvement continuing over the course of the year.

Themes for 2020 explored in this month’s report include:

  • Capacity Rebalancing
  • Spot Rates Turning Positive
  • Trade Policy/Industrial Downturn
  • End of the Freight Recession
  • How Contract Rates Could Turn Positive in 2020
  • Looking Forward to 2021

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.

ACT’s 62nd seminar is scheduled for February 11–13, 2020, and will feature trucker, electrification, and economic panels, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the pending impact of electrification on the market in the near future. A commercial vehicle database workshop is also being planned in conjunction with this semi-annual event. Click here for seminar information.

For more information about ACT’s Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK, please click here.

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ACT Research Co.

ACT Research is the leader in commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis, and forecasting services for North America.