ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Supply-Demand Balance Tightens as Driver Availability Hits New Low in March

For-Hire Drivers 4-29-21The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with March data, showed a Driver Availability Index that has tightened to another new low point in the past three years, the fourth in a row.

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.

Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst commented, “The Driver Availability Index tightened to a new low in March, to 16.7 from 23.6 in February.”

For-Hire Supply-Demand 4-29-21He added, “As volumes recovered from weather-related softness in February and capacity remained very tight, the Supply-Demand Balance rose to 68.2 in March, from 60.1 in February.”

Denoyer also noted, “In addition to the raft of constraints on driver capacity, from demographics to unemployment benefits to the FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, constrained Class 8 production and tight vehicle inventories are also likely to limit the pace of recovery this year.”

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 4.30.21 (3)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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