ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index Highlights Tight Supply-Demand Balance

The latest release of ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with October data, showed a second consecutive month of record tightness. October’s volume index was flat at 70.7, while pricing dropped two points to 69.2, although this was still a top-decile result. With capacity and driver availability in contraction territory, at 45.8 and 28.6, respectively, the combination of strong demand and tight supply pushed the supply-demand balance to its tightest level in survey history, now at 74.9.

The ACT For-Hire Trucking Index is a monthly survey of for-hire trucking service providers. ACT Research converts responses into diffusion indexes, where the neutral or flat activity level is 50.

“As capacity tightened further, volume (demand) remained elevated, tightening the market balance even further from already tight levels in recent months,” Tim Denoyer, vice president and senior analyst for ACT Research, said. “Class 8 retail sales have improved recently, suggesting equipment capacity will start to grow over the next few quarters, but as a steel shortage could constrain production and with ongoing driver market constraints, tightness is likely to continue in the near-term. We would still expect some loosening after the holiday season as parked trucks are redeployed when extended unemployment benefits expire, but strong demand from restocking should keep the market fairly tight in the near-term.”

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