ACT: Supply-Demand Balance Returns to Positive After March Deficit

According to ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index, there was a rebound in the supply-demand balance. After turning to a deficit in March for the first time in 15 months, the supply-demand balance returned to positive territory in April, as expected, rebounding to 59.6 from 47.3 in March.

“The April data show the contract season is likely progressing well for fleets and the March data were anomalous to a degree based on seasonality,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “That said, excluding March, the April reading was the lowest since April a year ago.”

As part of this month’s survey, ACT Research queried fleets about how their freight mix between spot and contract markets is changing.

“Many responding fleets indicated no change in their spot and contract market concentrations,” Denoyer said. “While one noted the company was working harder to eliminate spot freight and assure customers that capacity exists, albeit at higher rates, another reported seeing an increase in the spot market.”

The April fleet purchase intentions reading indicated a downtick in equipment demand that may well reflect the increasing scarcity of production slots remaining this year. Purchase intentions for the next three months, according to the report, fell to a seasonally adjusted 55.9% in April, from 63.0% in March. Over the past 12 months, the buying index has averaged a strong 57.9% reading.

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