ACT Research’s Freight Rate and Pricing Indices Reach New Records

The freight rate index from ACT Research in January reached a new all-time high in its 10-year history, eclipsing the previous record set in October.

“Clearly, the pendulum of pricing power rests with truckers as 2018 contract negotiations with shippers are getting under way,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “The data provide further support for 2018 contract rate increases which are pressing up toward double digits, especially with the ongoing difficulties our respondents are having with capacity/drivers.”

After a 10% utilization hit in late-December/early-January because of severe weather, the later part of the month allowed for a strong rebound and January posted a new cycle-high in the productivity index.

“While our survey last month foreshadowed negative effects from the severe weather in early January, this appears to have driven a springboard effect on utilization as the month progressed,” Denoyer said.

As part of the February survey, ACT Research queried fleets about their key performance indicators for driver recruitment and retention. Turnover timing and rates, as well as costs per hire/application, were two clear themes, and several focused on turnover specifically for new drivers. Others indicated that analysis of which channels successful hires are coming from is key.

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