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ACT Research August Freight Forecast: Trade Policy Weighs on Forecasts as Freight Downturn Persists

Posted by Jennifer McNealy on Aug 9, 2019 12:17:49 PM

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

ACT Research maintained its view that truckload and intermodal contract rates will fall this year, due to overcapacity and weak freight demand.

ACT Seminar_158Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst, said, “There seems to be a misperception that a capacity correction is under way in trucking. Although truck order intake is down, capacity additions will continue at least through year-end. We estimate the active tractor fleet will grow 2.5% in the second half of 2019.

“Truck production remains near record levels, and though backlogs are dwindling quickly, elevated retail sales are set to continue for several months. Low Class 8 net orders bode well for an eventual upturn in the truckload spot market, but continuing capital discipline and ongoing economic growth, supporting a recovery in freight in 2020, are necessary conditions. Recent trade policy developments have increased the risk of a broad recession.”

Denoyer added, “The Truckload Rate Gauge remains in a significant excess capacity position, favoring shippers. But based on our expectation for a decline in U.S. Class 8 tractor build rates later in the year, the supply side should begin to bring it a little more into balance.”

Truckload Rate Gauge 8-9-19The Truckload Rate Gauge is ACT’s measure of industry supply/demand, balancing changes in the number of active trucks and the amount of available freight. The Current Gauge gives us a good directional feel for spot today and contract in about six months, and the Six-Months-Out Gauge tells us about spot in six months and contract in about a year.

The ACT Freight Forecast provides quarterly forecasts for the direction of volumes and contract rates through 2020 and annual forecasts through 2021 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.

ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, transportation and logistics companies, as well as banking and investment companies. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.

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

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ACT’s 61st seminar is scheduled for August 12-14, 2019, and will feature a transportation panel on e-commerce and digital freight matching, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the impacts of tomorrow’s technical challenges. A global forecasting workshop is also being planned in conjunction with this semi-annual event. Click here for seminar information.

Topics: freight, freight forecast, freight rate, transportation, logistics, shipping, Classes 5-8, Economy, Press Releases

About ACT Research

We're the leading publisher of industry data, market analysis, and economic forecasting services for the commercial vehicle and transportation industries.

2019 Lawrence R. Klein Award Winner: Most Accurate Economic Forecast 2015-2019

  Partner to LMC Automotive and the Chinese State Information Center

  Contributor to the Blue Chip Financial and Wall Street Journal Consensus Economic Forecast


 

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