ACT Research released the latest ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK report.
Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst, said, “Freight markets remain tight as we head into a clearly historic peak season with unprecedented containership backlogs, currently about 125 at anchor at North American ports. The chip shortage may have some light at the end of the tunnel, but it continues to slow equipment capacity growth. And the Delta variant, which worsened the chip shortage, could also impact the nascent and gradual recovery in driver supply.”
Denoyer added, “The ACT Driver Availability Index continued to improve this month, and BLS trucking employment trends continued to improve despite slowing of national job growth. The effects from the pandemic, driver demographics, e-commerce driving jobs and the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse are lengthening the rate cycle, but we expect economic incentives to eventually outweigh the secular driver supply constraints.”
When asked about the intermodal situation, Denoyer commented, “Network congestion has interrupted freight movement despite strong demand. Due in large part to the 200%+ tariffs on Chinese chassis and subassemblies since late last year [made official in May], chassis production is 35% below where it should be at this point in the cycle.” He concluded, “Amid perhaps the strongest freight demand of all time, the US chassis fleet is shrinking because of these tariffs, which make the situation tough to remedy quickly. We expect intermodal volumes to be impacted through this peak season and beyond.”
The monthly 56-page ACT Freight Forecast report provides forecasts through 2023 for volumes and contract rates for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal sectors of the transportation industry, including the Cass Shipments Index and Cass Truckload Linehaul Index®. For the truckload spot market, the report forecasts rates through 2022. The Freight Forecast provides unmatched detail on the freight rate outlook, helpingcompanies across the supply chain plan with greater visibility and less uncertainty.
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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