The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with May data, showed a slowing in volumes, strength in pricing, and a sharp decline in the supply-demand balance.
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.
“Consistent with some consumer-related macro softness as well as the deceleration in DAT’s load-to-truck ratios from the beginning to the end of the month, May’s Volume Index decelerated to its lowest reading since the start of the pandemic,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst.
“Despite the drop in volume growth, we continue to witness the strongest rate environment in the survey’s history, with capacity re-engagement extraordinarily challenging as a result of driver and manufacturing constraints limiting the supply response.”
Regarding the supply-demand balance, Vieth noted: “The pullback in the freight gauge and a tough seasonal factor on top of that were contributing factors in the sharp decline of the Supply-Demand Balance reading, which dropped nine (percentage points) month-over-month to a 13-month low 50.6 in May. Strong freight visibility suggests this metric will rebound from here as rebalancing continues into the medium-term.”
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 12 months. In 2019, the average accuracy of the report’s truckload spot rate forecasts was 98%.
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