ACT Research: 2020 Only ‘One Quarter Bad’ for Truck Transportation & Heavy-Duty Markets

According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, 2020 was only “one quarter bad” for truck transportation and heavy-duty markets.

“The shock and magnitude of the second quarter economic decline was without precedent in post-World War II history, forcing a reach to the Great Depression for parallels,” Kenny Vieth, senior analyst and president of ACT Research, said. “But the remarkable rebound of the economy and in truck freight began in the summer and gained momentum into autumn. Even during the worst of the trough in April and May, we forecast a second half rebound.

“The direction of the second half was correctly called. But the slope of the recovery’s path, and the speed and strength of the freight rebound (and the associated skyrocketing of freight rates), caught us off guard. The lessons we learned from underestimating the market snapback are important in the formation of our current view. Some of the impacting factors in the second half of 2020 included the capacity squeeze, the goods-for-services substitution, expanded migration to e-commerce, low fuel prices and a housing boom, just to name a few.”

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