For-Hire Trucking Index Shows Volume Surge in September



The latest release of ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with September data, showed an even stronger surge than July, with the Volume Index up to 59.6 (SA), from 47.6 in August. The September Pricing Index rebounded as well, if to a lesser degree, rising to 52.2 (SA), from 47.1 in August.

The ACT For-Hire Trucking Index is a monthly survey of for-hire trucking service providers. ACT Research converts responses into diffusion indexes, where the neutral or flat level is 50.

Tim Denoyer, ACT Research vice president and senior analyst, commented, “We remain mindful of shippers’ duty to manage tariff risk, but this is likely also being driven by strong consumer trends. With still-aggressive private fleet growth and a weak US manufacturing sector, choppy results will likely continue, but the past few months suggest a bottoming process is underway. It won’t be linear, as record US Class 8 tractor retail sales in September tell us capacity is still being added rather quickly, but capacity rebalancing will unfold over the course of next year.”

Buying intentions pulled back materially in September, falling to 48.3% of respondents planning to buy trucks in the next three months, from 53.9% in August (SA).

Regarding purchase intentions, Denoyer said, “The unsustainable pattern of low orders with long backlogs supporting record purchasing is set to end right around the new year, and notably it’s the private fleets, not the for-hire carriers, that are still adding capacity.”

The ACT Freight Forecast provides forecasts for the direction of volumes and contract rates quarterly through 2020 with three years of annual forecasts for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal segments of the transportation industry. For the truckload spot market, the report provides forecasts for the next twelve months. The ACT Research Freight Forecast uses equipment capacity modeling and the firm’s economics expertise to provide unprecedented visibility for the future of freight rates, helping businesses in transportation and logistics management plan for the future with confidence.

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