ACT Forecast: Pandemic Creates Driver Shortage, Pulls Rate Cycle Forward



ACT Research released the July installment of the ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK report.

“Our Spot Leading Indicator, a survey-based measure of the direction of rates, turned to a 10% y/y increase this month in a sharply positive reversal,” Tim Denoyer, VP and senior analyst at ACT Research, said. “The pandemic has caused twin supply shocks in the freight market. First, the CARES Act is incentivizing the unemployed to not come back to work, creating a near-term driver shortage. And second, while there are still plenty of parked trucks at the moment, low truck production this year will tighten equipment capacity over the medium term. We expect this to cause a bit of back and forth in spot rates, but we see the medium-term trend moving higher on tighter supply and recovering demand.”

The monthly 56-page ACT Freight Forecast report provides three-year forecasts for volumes and contract rates for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal sectors of the transportation industry. For the truckload spot market, the report forecasts rates for the next 12-15 months, and this month introduced a forecast for Q3/21.

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