ACT Research Trucking Index Highlights Another New Low in Driver Availability

For-Hire Drivers 3-19-21The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with February data, showed a Driver Availability Index that has tightened to another new low point in the past three years.

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 February, to 23.6 from 25.0 in January.”

Used 3_22_2021He added, “But as fleets often like to be gearing up for springtime volume growth in February, the tightness in the driver market feels acute. For the third straight month, this was the tightest reading in the three-year history of this index.”

Denoyer also noted, “The latest stimulus is yet another factor on a long list of driver constraints keeping the truckload market tight. Demographics and the FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse are also factors inhibiting driver re-engagement, even in response to record spot rates and rising driver pay.” He concluded, “Significant additions to capacity this year are unlikely.”

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.

ACT’s commercial electric vehicle study, Charging Forward: 2020-2024 BEV & FCEV Forecast & Analysis, is due to publish 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, go to actresearch.net/cv-electrification-study-2021.

What’s coming next in 2021 and 2022? ACT’s 65th OUTLOOK Seminar is the planning event for your business needs. Mark your calendar for August 24-26, 2021 to gain market updates and forecasts from ACT’s award-winning, veteran team with more than 200 years of combined industry experience. Click here for more details. 

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