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ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Bottoming Process Underway?

Posted by Jennifer McNealy on Dec 2, 2019 10:00:00 AM

For-Hire Volume Index 11-27-19

The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with October data, showed a modest Volume Index, at 52.0 (SA). October’s slower growth followed a sharply stronger 59.6 in September. The Pricing Index returned to negative territory in October, at 45.8 (SA), after recovering with volumes in September, at 52.5.

The ACT For-Hire Trucking Index is a monthly survey of for-hire trucking service providers. ACT Research converts responses into diffusion indexes, where the neutral or flat level is 50. Please contact us at if you are a for-hire executive interested in participating. In return, participants receive a detailed monthly analysis of the survey data, including Volumes, Freight Rates, Capacity, Productivity and Purchasing Intentions, plus a complimentary copy of our Transportation Digest report.

animation - 2019-11-27T153800.770Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s President and Senior Analyst commented, “The freight industry improvement has not been broad-based in the past few months, and we continue to see plenty of evidence that points to inventory building ahead of tariffs as a key driver of recent performance, though strong consumer trends are also helping.” He added, “With still-aggressive private fleet growth and a weak US manufacturing sector, choppy results will likely continue, but the past few months suggest a bottoming process is underway.”

For-Hire Freight Rates 11-27-19In a reflection of the imbalance between demand for freight services and the supply of Class 8 trucks competing for freight, Pricing Index shows the path to rising profitability is not yet apparent. Regarding the Rate Index, Vieth said, “After collapsing in Q2, the pricing environment stabilized in the past few months. October’s lowest-since-June print suggests that pressure from capacity growth persists in the near to mid-term. That said, spikes in freight volumes, akin to what occurred in September, could perhaps lift rates on a one-off basis again, ahead of threatened tariffs in December.”

The ACT Freight Forecast provides forecasts for the direction of volumes and contract rates quarterly through 2020 with three years of annual forecasts 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. The ACT Research Freight Forecast uses equipment capacity modeling and the firm’s economics expertise to provide unprecedented visibility for the future of freight rates, helping businesses in transportation and logistics management plan for the future with confidence.

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

ACT’s 62nd seminar is scheduled for February 11-13, 2020, and will feature trucker, electrification, and economic panels, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the pending impact of electrification on the market in the near future. A commercial vehicle database workshop is also being planned in conjunction with this semi-annual event.

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Access more information about ACT’s Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK.

Access more about other freight-related publications offered by ACT Research, click here.

Access October's For-Hire Trucking Index Press Release.

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Topics: freight, freight forecast, freight rate, logistics, shipping, ACT For-Hire Trucking Index, Press Releases, supply chain, truck freight, north american trucking, commercial truck and trailer, transportation industry news, intermodal, truck freight rates, demand planning, us freight, commercial freight shipping, last mile delivery, freight rates

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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