ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Driver Availability Starting to Improve

For-Hire Driver Availability 11-30-21The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with October data, showed a decrease in volumes, pricing, and productivity, with capacity up slightly and with a lower but still-healthy supply-demand balance.

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 activity level is 50. Please contact us at trucks@actresearch.net 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, Driver Availability, Capacity, Productivity and Purchasing Intentions, plus a complimentary copy of ACT’s Transportation Digest report.

For-Hire Freight Rates 11-30-21Tim Denoyer, Vice President and Senior Analyst at ACT Research, commented, “While the pandemic continues to cast uncertainty, the freight volume outlook remains positive. In spite of the supply-chain constraints, retailers have managed to stock up ahead of the holidays, the consumer balance sheet is strong and massive restocking demand remains ahead.”

He added, “The most critical survey takeaways this month revolve around the driver market, with the Driver Availability Index improving considerably in October, as it became clear that most fleets will be exempt from proposed federal vaccine rules. The large fleets who train the vast majority of the industry’s drivers would be impacted by the mandate, though it appears only driver schools and team drivers will fall outside of the exemptions. We see ongoing supply-chain turgidity limiting capacity growth, but the pace of hiring is gradually improving, which will be key to the rate trajectory.”

For-Hire Supply-Demand 11-30-21Regarding the supply-demand balance, Denoyer noted, “We continue to see a slower-than-normal rebalancing in US trucking markets, featuring record rate increases. Equipment capacity is tight as Class 8 tractor and trailer sales are constrained by parts shortages, leaving immense unmet demand. With some structural driver issues likely to outlast the pandemic and a generally positive freight outlook, we do not expect the market to loosen quickly.”

The ACT Freight Forecast provides forecasts for spot truckload rates by trailer type for four to six quarters and truck volumes and contract rates for three years for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal segments of the transportation industry. In 2019, the average accuracy of the report’s truckload spot rate forecasts was 98%. 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 www.actresearch.net.

Used 12.7.21ACT’s 66th Seminar is scheduled for February 22-24, 2022. Focused on the continuous evolution and advancement of autonomous and powertrain technologies in the transportation and commercial vehicle markets, OUTLOOK Seminar 66 will feature key industry leaders from Ford, Transplace, and TuSimple, with more being added to the agenda. For information about OUTLOOK Seminar 66, as it becomes available, click here

ACT’s commercial electric vehicle study, Charging Forward: 2020-2024 BEV & FCEV Forecast & Analysis, was published on March 31, 2021, after months of extensive research. Utilizing industry expertise and analysis, as well as the input from a comprehensive list of key industry study participants, ACT Research has developed a critical guide for battery electric and fuel cell electric unit build and sales forecasts over the next two decades. With coverage of Classes 4-8 commercial vehicles, ACT has identified 14 market subsegments and more than 20 application types; this one-of-a-kind report is a must-have for those investing or investigating electric power opportunities. To learn more or to purchase this report, click here

Click below to:

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

Learn more about other freight-related publications offered by ACT Research.

Access the previous For-Hire Trucking Index Press Release.

Access In the News Page 

Back to Blog

Related Articles

ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Trucking Accelerated in July

The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with July data, showed an uptick in volumes...

ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Trucking Decelerated, but Remained Strong in August

The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with August data, showed a drop in volumes and...

ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Trucking Stronger in September

The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with September data, showed an increase in...