ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Prices Continue Strongest-Ever Trend

For-Hire Volume Index 6-22-21The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with May data, showed a slowing in volumes, strength in pricing, and a sharp decline in the 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, Capacity, Productivity and Purchasing Intentions, plus a complimentary copy of ACT’s Transportation Digest report.

For-Hire Freight Rates 6-22-21Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s President and Senior Analyst commented, “Consistent with some consumer-related macro softness as well as the deceleration in DAT’s load-to-truck ratios from the beginning to the end of the month, May’s Volume Index decelerated to its lowest reading since the start of the pandemic.”

He continued, “Despite the drop in volume growth, we continue to witness the strongest rate environment in the survey’s history, with capacity re-engagement extraordinarily challenging as a result of driver and manufacturing constraints limiting the supply response.”

For-Hire Supply-Demand 6-22-21Regarding the supply-demand balance, Vieth noted, “The pullback in the freight gauge and a tough seasonal factor on top of that were contributing factors in the sharp decline of the Supply-Demand Balance reading, which dropped 9ppts month-over-month to a 13-month low 50.6 in May. Strong freight visibility suggests this metric will rebound from here as rebalancing continues into the medium-term.”

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.

Used 6.22.21

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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