ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index Shows Increasing Capacity, Declining Volume and Pricing

In the latest release of ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index with February 2022 data, the volume and pricing indices declined, while the capacity index increased.

“The volume index fell 1.7 points in February, in line with our revised GDP forecasts for 2022 as inflation weighs on consumers’ wallets,” Carter Vieth, a research associate at ACT Research, said. “The freight volume outlook remains positive, but COVID variants and the inflationary effects of war cast some uncertainty.

“The capacity index rose from January to February, ticking to 52.4. The improvement was driven by more drivers returning to seats after omicron increased absenteeism in January and truck manufacturers still building at slightly above-replacement rates in February. With equipment production still challenged, the improvement in recent months is likely largely about drivers, and the sustainability of the gains will be important to the 2022 rate trajectory. Equipment may soon surpass drivers as the top constraint on trucking capacity, particularly if Ukrainian neon-related production issues further strain the Class 8 tractor fleet.”

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