ACT Freight Forecast: There’s good news and there’s bad news

The ACT Research Truckload Rate Gauge is currently signaling significant overcapacity, favoring shippers in rate negotiations. (Courtesy: ACT RESEARCH)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — ACT Research has released the July installment of the ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK, covering the truckload, intermodal, LTL and last mile sectors with ACT maintaining its view that truckload and intermodal contract rates will fall this year because overcapacity and weak freight demand.

“It’s a good news/bad news report this month,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “The bad news is we’re in a freight recession and the factors we focus on tell us spot rates are headed still lower near-term, but that’s been going on for a while. The good news is that for the first time this cycle, we see evidence on the horizon for an eventual bottoming and upturn in spot truckload rates, thanks to low new truck orders and improving capital discipline from the trucking industry.”

Denoyer said the Truckload Rate Gauge is currently signaling significant overcapacity, favoring shippers in rate negotiations.

“But based on our expectation for a decline in U.S. Class 8 tractor build rates later in the year, the supply side should begin to improve,” he said.

Denoyer said the Truckload Rate Gauge is ACT’s measure of industry supply/demand, balancing changes in the number of active trucks and the amount of available freight.

“The current gauge gives us a good directional feel for spot today and contract in about six months, and the ‘six months out’ gauge tells us about spot in six months and contract in about a year,” he said..

The ACT Freight Forecast provides quarterly forecasts for the direction of volumes and contract rates through 2020 and annual forecasts through 2021 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.

For more information about ACT’s Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK, please click here.

ACT Research is a publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, transportation and logistics companies, as well as banking and investment companies. More information can be found at








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