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ACT Research: Freight Markets Less Impacted by COVID than General Economy

Posted by Jennifer McNealy on Aug 28, 2020 7:00:00 AM

In the release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research reported that freight markets continue to be less impacted by the pandemic than the economy at large, and that a vaccine is seen as the key to unlocking a more broad-based recovery, as the simplest human interactions will no longer have to be weighed and justified.

In recognition of the virus’ impact, ACT Research has created an easily accessible COVID-19 MARKET WATCH webpage to track noteworthy high frequency macroeconomic and transportation-specific market indicators, which can be found at

The report, which combines ACT’s proprietary data analysis from a wide variety of industry sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report includes a relevant but high-level forecast summary, complete with transportation insights for use by commercial vehicle dealer executives, reviewing top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy and medium duty segments, the total US trailer market, used truck sales information, and a review of the US macro economy.

“Even as the economy struggles to regain its footing post-COVID and pre-vaccine, freight markets have been somewhat less impacted,” said Steve Tam, ACT’s Vice President. He continued, “Most freight is related to society’s most basic needs: food, shelter, clothes, transportation. A positive for freight, in the current environment, is that much of the discretionary spending that was ‘experience’ focused, like travel, attending events, and dining in restaurants, has been replaced by goods-based purchases that generate a greater amount of freight per dollar.”

Used 08.31.20

Specifically regarding how the CV industry is doing, Tam commented, “One consideration we are seeing weigh on the market is parked capacity, but even with that, a case can be made for a steady, if modest, Class 8 market rebound from here. Based on continued increases in Classes 5-7 build, the OEMs appear to be betting on business and consumer resilience, while trailer forecasts are improving at the margin with accelerated trends in e-commerce boosting LTL demand and a new generation of home cooking driving some gains in multi-temp refrigerated vans.”

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


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Learn more information about ACT’s Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest.

Get information about other ACT Research publications and services.

Access July's Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest Press Release.

Access ACT's COVID-19 Market Watch.

Access In the News Page.

Topics: CV Dealer Digest, Press Releases, medium duty truck, commercial vehicle sales data, truck market, north american trucking, american truck and trailer, commercial truck and trailer, transportation industry news, trucking, heavy duty truck, class 8 truck engines

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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