Blog Banner

ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Pricing Index Drops Considerably, While Supply-Demand Balanced Remains Loose, Overall Industry Conditions Slowing

Posted by Jennifer McNealy on May 17, 2019 3:58:20 PM

For-Hire Volume Index 5-17-19For-Hire Freight Rates 5-17-19For-Hire Supply-Demand 5-17-19

COLUMBUS, IN – The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index showed an improvement in volume, although the measure remains in negative territory at 49.5 seasonally adjusted. The bigger story this month, however, was the Pricing Index, which fell considerably to 45.4, from 49.4 seasonally adjusted in March. The supply-demand balance was loose for the sixth consecutive month, and the reading dropped to 45.3 in April, from 46.7 in March.

Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s President and Senior Analyst commented, “This was the third straight Pricing Index negative after 30 consecutive months of expansion, and after an extraordinary cycle with a record 64.8 average for full-year 2018, rates are under pressure from weak freight volumes and strong capacity growth.”

Vieth also noted, “Volume in April fell for the fifth time in the past six months, and the softness coincides with several other recent freight metrics we’ve been reporting in our Freight Forecast. We attribute at least part of this to the unusual tariff-related inventory pull-forward that occurred late last year.”

Regarding the supply-demand balance, Vieth said, “Although the Volume Index reading improved slightly, it was outweighed by the higher Capacity Index, giving us the loosest industry supply-demand balance in almost three years (April 2016).” He added, “Both elevated Class 8 tractor production and soft freight volumes will keep the supply-demand balance loose until freight improves, capacity tightens, or both.”

ACT is the leading publisher of new and used commercial vehicle (CV) industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market. ACT’s CV services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as the banking and investment community in North America, Europe, and China. For more information on ACT, please visit

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of January’s minor sequential backlog decline was that metric’s first month-over-month slide since June [2018]. (2)



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


ACT’s 61st seminar is scheduled for August 12-14, 2019, and will feature a dealer panel, 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 forecast, ACT For-Hire Trucking Index, 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


Recent Press Releases