ACT: Freight Volume Index Improves for Third Time in Last Four Months

For the third time in the past four months, the freight volume index improved in August, ACT Research reported. The recent positive shift since May suggests that even if conditions are not exactly improving, they are at least not getting worse. Prior to May, 14 of the preceding 15 readings were negative. However, the freight rate component remained negative in August, a sixth decline in the past eight months.

The big driver of the positive net capacity outcome in August was a sharp spike upward in the freight volume component of the index. Just as freight growth and capacity additions showed weakness in July, strength in both metrics in August are related to seasonality. Freight starts moving in August following plant shutdowns in July even as truckers come back to work following their own vacations.

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