ACT: For-Hire Trucking Pricing Falls Again in February

The latest release of ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index showed a downtick in volume, pricing and productivity, with the supply-demand balance continuing trend, loosening for the fourth consecutive month.

The Volume Index returned to negative territory, reaching 47.1 in February, while pricing fell to 48.9. Productivity dropped sharply to 43.0, and the supply-demand balance now sits at 42.7.

Tim Denoyer, ACT Research vice president and senior analyst commented, “While respondents noted weather impacted February results, the Pricing Index fell below neutral for the first time since July 2016 amidst soft demand and accelerating pricing. We see evidence here that the laws of supply and demand have not been repealed.”

He added, “The supply-demand balance reading fell from 45.6 in January, and the decline was due to the lower freight Volume Index reading, partly offset by the sequentially lower Capacity Index. Both accelerating Class 8 tractor production and slowing freight growth are loosening the supply-demand balance as we near the 2019 contract rate season.”

The February fleet purchase intentions reading indicated an uptick in equipment demand, with 55.5% of respondents planning to buy trucks in the next three months, up from 53.6%, seasonally adjusted, in January.

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