ACT Freight Forecast Reflects COVID-19 and Lower Commodities

ACT Research released the April installment of the ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK report. For the truckload spot market, the report forecasts rates for the next 12 to 15 months. ACT introduced TL spot rates forecasts for Q2/21 and volume and contract rate forecasts in all three sectors for 2022.

Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst said, “We have further lowered our freight expectations since the mid-month update a couple of weeks ago, as the complexity of the manufacturing restart becomes clearer. The cliff event is here and now; we expect spot rates to drop more than 20% in April/May from March.

“The pandemic has caused breakdowns in the economy not seen before in our lifetimes. Freight has adapted to past ‘new normals’ and emerged steady on a per capita basis, and likely will again, eventually, but there are some extraordinary swings coming in the next 12 to 18 months.”

Denover concluded, “Perhaps most interesting from our standpoint is the supply-side effects, as lower demand for new equipment and downtime at the manufacturers will reduce capacity significantly over the coming year, setting up a potential capacity crunch when demand recovers.”

The Freight Forecast provides detail on the future of freight rates, helping companies across the supply chain plan their business with greater visibility and less uncertainty. The 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.

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