Blog Banner

ACT Research: 2020 Has Been a Roller Coaster Ride for Motor Carriers, Across the Board

Posted by Jennifer McNealy on Nov 24, 2020 10:30:00 AM

According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, from big fleets to owner-operators, and their vocational counterparts, motor carriers across-the-board have ridden a down-and-up roller coaster this year.

The report, which combines proprietary ACT data and analysis from a wide variety of sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report is designed as a quick look at transportation insights for use by fleet and trucking executives, reviewing top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy and medium duty segments, the US trailer market, used truck sales information, and an overview of the US macro economy.

“We’ve been tracking a number of trend-setting metrics that show what a wild ride it has been for carriers this year,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He explained, “According to the Bureau of the Census, retail data show non-store sales, primarily e-commerce, from May to September were over 17% of retail activity, a material increase from a 14.5% average in 2019. Stating the obvious, e-retailing got a big boost when the shutdown drove households to do emergency shelf stocking and avoid brick-and-mortar retail locations.”

Used 11.25.20

Vieth continued, “Light motor vehicle sales snap backed from April’s sales low of 8.7 million, topping a 16-million annualized rate in both September and October as the pandemic and work-from-home has driven out-migration from major urban areas. Additionally, the third quarter showed a dramatic, if perhaps temporary, resurrection of activity for many retail sectors, after the shutdown and shelter-in-place shocks in Q2.” He continued, “As in retail, there is a ‘K-shaped’ recovery taking place in construction, with housing and warehousing doing well, while construction of office buildings, retail space, and manufacturing facilities remains sluggish.”

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

ACT’s 64th Seminar is scheduled for February 23-25, 2021. Focused on the continuous evolution and advancement of power and energy changes in the transportation and commercial vehicle markets, OUTLOOK Seminar 64 will feature key industry leaders such as Ryan Reed of Wabash National, John Bennett from Meritor, Lance Riegel of Marvin Johnson, and Dominick Beckman from Hino Motors. Look for more details on this event over the coming months and save the date for February’s event. Click here for seminar information

Click below to:

Access information about ACT’s Transportation Digest.

Access more information about additional ACT’s Transportation Publications and Services. 

Access October's Transportation Digest Press Release. 

Access In the News Page.

Topics: Press Releases, medium duty truck, commercial vehicle sales data, truck market, north american trucking, class 8 truck, american truck and trailer, commercial truck and trailer, transportation industry news, heavy duty truck

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


Recent Press Releases