ACT: Capacity Rising Faster Than Freight for First Time in 15 Months

The latest release of ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index showed that for the first time in the past 15 months, the capacity index rose faster than the freight index, inflecting to a deteriorating supply-demand balance.

“In March, the combination of slower volume growth and faster capacity growth drove the Supply-Demand Index to a seasonally adjusted 47.3, after averaging 63.0 over the past 12 months,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “The negative turn is partly because of seasonality issues, but the March data represent the first question mark in some time on the direction of truckload rates in 2018.”

As part of this month’s survey, ACT Research queried fleets about purchase intentions and the effects from the April 1 ELD regulation enforcement.

“The consensus response indicated that the April 1 ELD enforcement step up has not had much impact, with most noting fleet compliance for the past several years, but it’s early and some fleets did report additional rate increases,” Denoyer said.

The March fleet purchase intentions reading suggests that equipment demand continues to have long legs, with 63% of surveyed fleets planning equipment investments in the next three months. Over the past 12 months, the buying index has averaged a strong 58.1% reading.

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