ACT Freight Forecast: The Pendulum of the Freight Cycle Swings Back

ACT Research released the latest installment of the ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK report.

Freight PR 5-12-22Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst, said, “As recently as the start of the year, pricing power in the truckload market was firmly with fleets. But once a pendulum gets going, it’s very hard to stop. Not coincidentally, the Supply-Demand Balance in our For-Hire Survey turned loose this month, for the first time since June 2020, as the rebalancing, drawn-out by the pandemic, hit critical mass.”

Denoyer added, “We’ve received many questions lately about the freight sector’s leading role in the economy. While we agree it is a leading indicator, it’s mainly for the goods economy, rather than the larger service sector. We also agree that Russia’s war has a tough-to-quantify but clearly adverse macro impact, and softer freight volumes are consistent with a slower economy.”

He concluded, “The driver shortage is over. The record drop in spot rates ex-fuel in the past few months has been magnified by Russia and Omicron, but still clearly says the market has shifted to a driver surplus. We’re not adding nearly as much equipment capacity as we typically would, which suggests a possibly shorter-than-normal downcycle.”

The monthly 56-page ACT Freight Forecast report provides forecasts through 2024 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, helping companies across the supply chain plan with greater visibility and less uncertainty.

"As recently as the start of the year, pricing power in the truckload market was firmly with fleets. But once a pendulum gets going, it’s very hard to stop." - Tim Denoyer

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 67th Seminar is scheduled for August 23-25, 2022. The focus will be the potential impact of decarbonization and autonomous technology on commercial vehicles and on-highway transportation. Each event ACT shares its best-in-class data and forecast in presentations, as well as featuring guest speakers to dive into topics of interest for the benefit of attendees. The agenda includes key industry leaders, who will be announced at a later date. For more information about Seminar 67 Watts Under The Hood: Transportation Transformation, click here: https://www.actresearch.net/seminar-67/.

ACT Research recently completed POWER UP, a look at 7 global regions and more than 20 countries in a review of local regulations, infrastructure, and the impact on the adoption of battery and fuel cell electric commercial vehicles through 2040. This forecast is the first of its kind, a review of the decarbonization of commercial vehicles around the world. POWER UP is available now at https://www.actresearch.net/power-up/.

Additionally, ACT Research published an update to CHARGING FORWARD, a North American-centric battery and fuel cell electric vehicle adoption rate forecast, covering 23 vehicle applications, in Classes 4-8 commercial vehicles, through 2040. CHARGING FORWARD is considered by many industry leaders to be the apex of analysis and economic-based total cost of ownership modeling in the industry. And, it is now available for purchase at https://www.actresearch.net/electric-vehicles-charge/.

ACV Image for 5-26-22Currently, the team at ACT Research is engaged in a commercial autonomous vehicle multi-client study. Through this work, we have identified adoption rates and forecast for autonomous Classes 4-8 vehicles through 2040. On Thursday, May 26, ACT’s autonomous team will hold a virtual briefing and update about the study’s progress to date. More information about our Autonomous Commercial Vehicle Study and the upcoming briefing can be found here: https://www.actresearch.net/autonomous-cv/.

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