Freight Forecast: Spot Rate Spike is Here, Contract Rate Increases Following Soon

ACT Research Co.
2 min readAug 11, 2020

ACT Research released the August installment of the ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK report. This monthly 56-page ACT Freight Forecast report provides three-year forecasts for volumes and contract rates for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal sectors of the transportation industry. For the truckload spot market, the report forecasts rates for the next 12–15 months, and this month introduced a forecast for Q3’21. The Freight Forecast provides unmatched detail on the freight rate outlook, helping companies across the supply chain plan their business with greater visibility and less uncertainty.

Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst, said, “A freight recovery amidst a driver shortage has driven an acutely tight truckload market, with spot rate measures up 30% y/y. Looking forward, we now see a new phase of the pandemic, with tightness easing as stimulus benefits fade. The spike in used truck sales shows that process underway.”

He added, “Our Spot Leading Indicator, a survey-based measure of the direction of rates, is now consistent with 30% y/y increases in spot rates, but with latent equipment capacity and additional stimulus looking unlikely, a peak seems near.”

Denoyer concluded, “While the path ahead includes puts and takes, we see medium-term freight rate trends moving higher on tighter supply and recovering demand.”

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

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.