ACT For-Hire Trucking Index Rates Slip While Volumes Improve

With January data, the latest release of ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index showed a sustained uptick in for-hire freight volumes and utilization, with 53.9 and 52.5 respective diffusion index readings, both down slightly from December on a seasonally adjusted basis. But amid ongoing overcapacity, the Freight Rates Index slid further, to 44.8 in January.
Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst commented,

“We see encouraging signs in improving volume and utilization trends that the freight downturn is in its late stages and the market will rebalance in 2020. However, the ongoing rate pressure, even as volumes improved, tells us that excess capacity persists. The good news is that capacity additions have just stopped at the Class 8 tractor level, which we think will take pressure off rates as the year progresses.”

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 level is 50.

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 twelve months. In 2019, the average accuracy of the report’s truckload spot rate forecasts was 98%.

The ACT Research Freight Forecast uses equipment capacity modeling and the firm’s economics expertise to provide visibility for the future of freight rates, helping businesses in transportation and logistics management plan for the future with confidence.

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