COLUMBUS, Ind. – The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with December 2021 data, showed an increase in the Pricing Index, with slowing in all other categories measured.
“The Driver Availability Index decreased 2.4 points in December, to 35.5 from November’s 37.9, reflecting the impact of the Omicron variant on both absenteeism and recruiting,” Tim Denoyer, vice president and senior analyst at ACT Research, said. “Positively, Omicron’s case pattern appears more needle-shaped, and US cases have already begun to fall, so this wave is likely to be short-lived.”
He added, “Freight markets remain tight with elevated demand and Omicron impacting driver availability, and ACT’s For-Hire Pricing Index rose 1.7 points, to 72.0 (SA) in December from November’s 70.3.”
“The Capacity Index decreased 2.9 points in December, and while down from November’s reading, which was a 2-year high, it is still significantly above the trend of the past two years,” Denover said.
“Omicron’s negative impact on driver availability is affecting fleet capacity in the short-term, but, with extraordinary stimulus in the rearview, drivers have started to respond to significant bonuses and wage increases in greater numbers. That said, equipment production is still challenged, and the sustainability of the improvement will be interesting to watch in the coming months. Given the major supply challenges, we still anticipate capacity growth to be slow for a while.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.