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ACT Research May Freight Forecast: What Impact on Freight Rates from Pre-Tariff Freight Surge?

Posted by Jennifer McNealy on Jun 6, 2019 4:51:26 PM

Freight Forecast Graph #1 6-6-19ACT Research released the June installment of the ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK report covering the truckload, intermodal, LTL and last mile sectors.

ACT Research raised near-term freight volume forecasts to estimate a short-term pre-ship ahead of the threatened tariffs on the remaining $300+ billion of China imports.

Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst, said, “Timing is uncertain, but assuming some talks, there may be enough to temporarily snatch the cycle from the jaws of freight recession in the near-term. But the mid-term freight outlook is hurt by the recent yield curve dynamics, and pre-shipping will eventually result in an inventory overhang.”

This dynamic did not change ACT’s rate forecasts materially, and the ACT Truckload Spot Leading Indicator reached a new cycle low this month. ACT’s Freight Rate Barometer, a measure of supply/demand balance, shows the truckload market has been oversupplied for about six months, and it typically leads trucFreight Forecast Graph #2 6-6-19kload contract rates by about six months.

DSC_3630copyDenoyer added, “Pricing power is rapidly swinging from the service providers back to the shipping community, due to accelerating tractor capacity growth and soft freight demand. Truck orders are down sharply, a potentially auspicious sign, but eyes now turn to June orders for an early look at 2020 demand.”

The ACT Freight Forecast provides quarterly forecasts for the direction of volumes and contract rates through 2020 and annual forecasts through 2021 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.

ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, transportation and logistics companies, as well as banking and investment companies. More information can be found at

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


ACT’s 61st seminar is scheduled for August 12-14, 2019, and will feature a transportation panel on e-commerce and digital freight matching, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the impacts of tomorrow’s technical challenges. A global forecasting workshop is also being planned in conjunction with this semi-annual event. Click here for seminar information.

Topics: freight forecast, freight rate, logistics, shipping, ACT For-Hire Trucking Index, Press Releases

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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