ACT Research: All For-Hire Trucking Metrics, Except Capacity, Fall in May



The latest release of ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index showed nearly across-the-board declines, with capacity being the lone exception. The Pricing Index fell considerably, to 38.8, in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest in survey history, from 45.4 in April.

The Volume Index dropped further into negative territory, hitting 46.7 (SA), from 49.5 in April. Fleet productivity/utilization slipped to 46.0 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, down from 49.4 in April, and capacity growth increased to 54.6, from April’s 54.3 reading.

Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s, vice president and senior analyst, commented, “May’s Pricing Index was the fourth consecutive negative, after 30 straight months of expansion. This confirms our expectation that the annual bid season is not going well for truckers. We continue to believe rates are under pressure from weak freight volumes and strong capacity growth.”

Regarding the Volume Index, Denoyer said, “Volume in May fell for the sixth time in the past seven months. The softness coincides with several other recent freight metrics, with the drop likely due in part to rapid growth of private fleets and the slowdown in the industrial sector of the economy.”

He added, “The supply-demand balance reading loosened to 42.1, from 45.3 in April. The past seven consecutive readings have shown a deterioration in the supply-demand balance, with May the largest yet.”

The ACT Freight Forecast provides quarterly forecasts for the direction of volumes and contract rates through 2020 and annual forecasts through 2021 for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal segments of the transportation industry.

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