The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index indicated that the freight index rose faster than the capacity index in each of the last 12 months, allowing the supply-demand balance to climb to the highest reading ever recorded.
“The wide spread between freight and capacity additions bodes well for continued strength in freight rates into the new year,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice-president and senior analyst. “Clearly, truckers are entering 2018 in the best negotiating position in many years.”
Survey respondents reported a wide range of productivity effects from the recent severe weather. These centered on a 10% utilization hit in late-December/early-January for the fleets in the affected areas, but as one trucking executive noted, “the weather hasn’t affected the demand for capacity!”
Moderate productivity impacts were felt even in the Southeast.
As part of the January survey, ACT Research queried fleets about the expected impact of the new tax laws to their capital spending plans. While 56% of respondents indicated that the new tax law would have no impact, many are still evaluating and see potential positive effects on capital spending.