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ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Rates Slip, Even as Volumes Improve

Posted by Jennifer McNealy on Mar 2, 2020 8:00:00 AM

For-Hire Volume Index 2-29-20

The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with January data, showed a sustained uptick in for-hire freight volumes and utilization, with 53.9 and 52.5 respective diffusion index readings, both down slightly from December on a seasonally adjusted basis. But amid ongoing overcapacity, the Freight Rates Index slid further, to 44.8 in January.

For-Hire Freight Rates 2-29-20

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 - 2020-03-02T095323.659Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst commented, “We see encouraging signs in improving volume and utilization trends that the freight downturn is in its late stages and the market will rebalance in 2020. However, the ongoing rate pressure, even as volumes improved, tells us that excess capacity persists. The good news is that capacity additions have just stopped at the Class 8 tractor level, which we think will take pressure off rates as the year progresses.”

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

Click below to:

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

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

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

Access In the News Page 



Topics: freight, freight forecast, freight rate, transportation, logistics, shipping, ACT For-Hire Trucking Index, Press Releases, supply chain, truck freight, north american trucking, american truck and trailer, 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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