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Freight Forecast: Pandemic Response Creates Driver Shortage, Pulling Rate Cycle Forward

Posted by Jennifer McNealy on Jul 13, 2020 8:00:00 AM

ACT Research released the July installment of the ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK report. This monthly 56-page ACT Freight Forecast report provides three-year forecasts for volumes and contract rates for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal sectors of the transportation industry. For the truckload spot market, the report forecasts rates for the next 12-15 months, and this month introduced a forecast for Q3’21. The Freight Forecast provides unmatched detail on the freight rate outlook, helping companies across the supply chain plan their business with greater visibility and less uncertainty.

Freight PR Image 7-13-20

Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst, said, “Our Spot Leading Indicator, a survey-based measure of the direction of rates, turned to a 10% y/y increase this month in a sharply positive reversal.”

He continued, “The pandemic has caused twin supply shocks in the freight market. First, the CARES Act is incentivizing the unemployed to not come back to work, creating a near-term driver shortage. And second, while there are still plenty of parked trucks at the moment, low truck production this year will tighten equipment capacity over the medium term.”

Used 08.13.20

Denoyer concluded, “We expect this to cause a bit of back and forth in spot rates, but we see the medium-term trend moving higher on tighter supply and recovering demand.”

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 63rd seminar is scheduled for August 11-13, 2020, and is being offered via livestream for those wishing to participate. Focused on the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will feature dealer, alternative power, and economic panels, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the pending impact of alternative power on the market in the near future. Click here for seminar information.

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

Get information about ACT’s freight-related databases.

Access June's Freight Forecast Press Release. 

Access In the News Page.

Topics: freight, freight forecast, logistics, Press Releases, supply chain, truck freight, north american trucking, commercial truck and trailer, transportation industry news, trucking, 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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