ACT’s Trucking Index Shows Slow Volumes, Strong Prices, Tight Supply-Demand Balance

According to April data from ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index, volumes are slowing, prices are strengthening and the supply-demand balance remains tight but is beginning to show early signs of rebalancing.

“The Volume Index decelerated in April after surging to a five-month high in March,” Tim Denoyer, vice president and senior analyst at ACT Research, said. “Some of the strength was make-up for the polar vortex-impacted February level, but this slower growth also likely reflects ongoing supply constraints and the deepening semiconductor shortage. And with both driver and equipment capacity in short supply, we are witnessing the strongest rate environment in survey history, even with a bit slower volumes.”

Regarding the supply-demand balance, Denoyer said, “The supply chain constraints imply pent-up demand is still building, and the near-term freight volume outlook remains very positive. This should keep the market tight, but we expect the rebalancing trend to continue in the medium term. The risks are that substitution back to service spending gradually cools the freight volume environment and that the eventual end of extended unemployment insurance helps driver availability improve.”

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