The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with August data, showed a continuing tight trucking market, with volume and rate surges ongoing and driver availability deteriorating. August’s Volume Index rose to 67.9 (SA), and productivity was at 67.8. With capacity and driver availability in contraction territory, at 48.9 and 32.0, respectively, the combination of strong demand and tight supply pushed the Pricing Index up to 66.4, a new two-year high.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 ACT’s Transportation Digest report.
Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst commented, “The average age of US truck drivers is 55, and while we usually have some number of drivers near retirement who will just participate in peak rates, the calculus is different this year.”
He added, “Driver supply should improve from here, but gradually, as driver schools are still challenged by social distancing. We expect driver pay to start increasing to address the shortage, but this process takes time. Meanwhile, the acute tightness of the past few months isn’t likely to ease much.”
Denoyer elaborated, “This month, feedback from carriers suggests that ‘mini-bids’ may shorten the lag between spot and contract rates in the coming months.”
The ACT Freight Forecast provides forecasts for the direction of truck 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. 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.
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