According ACT Research’s latest For-Hire Trucking Index, volume and productivity are up, with the supply-demand balance in July rising, as the increase in volume outweighed the increase in capacity.
“The volume index stabilization this month coincides with better retail activity in response to significant discounts and a considerable drop in fuel prices, relieving some of the pressure on consumers. The freight environment overall remains flattish,” Tim Denoyer, vice president and senior analyst at ACT Research, said. “Fleet productivity/utilization rose and is the highest it’s been in 2022, but the index is well below 2021’s average, as the easing market balance removes the pressure of the past 18 months. Downward pressure on volumes related to service substitution and inflation, recovering equipment production and still-rising driver populations suggest that fleet utilization is likely to be choppy across coming quarters.”
Regarding supply and demand, Denoyer said, “While up this month, the reading still reflects a loose trucking market and a late stage in the freight cycle. Freight volumes are not in a significant downturn but are certainly flat to down a little, whereas capacity, which always lags, is still rising. With capacity growth set to continue amid flattish industry volumes, the looser environment is likely to persist, even as volumes ramp into peak season in the coming months.”
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