COLUMBUS, Ind. — The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index showed an improvement in freight volumes and truck productivity in January, after a soft finish to 2018. The Volume Index rose to 52.0 in January from 49.0 in December.
“The recovery in the Volume Index was offset by an increase in the Capacity Index in January, keeping the balance signal to the loose side,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “The past three readings have shown the loosest industry supply-demand balance in almost three years, since April 2016.”
The Driver Index was in negative territory, below the neutral 50 mark, at 47.2 in January 2019. “Based on fleet feedback, we added a question about the driver market in January 2018, and after a year, we are now able to start reporting on this metric,” Denoyer said. “The January 2019 reading, as well as the December 2018 reading of 47.0 were up significantly from the 38.6 recorded in January of 2018. The index has been below the neutral 50 level since we started asking the question last year. However, the rise in the index over the past year signals modest easing of ongoing driver constraints.”
The January fleet purchase intentions reading indicated an uptick in equipment demand, with 53.7 percent of respondents planning to buy trucks in the next three months, up from 52.3 percent, seasonally adjusted, in December.
“After record orders last year, this series should remain elevated as long lead-time truck orders are built and hit the highways,” Denover said. “Over the past 12 months, the Buying Index has averaged a strong 57.6% reading.”
ACT is a publisher of new and used commercial vehicle (CV) industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market.
For more information, visits www.actresearch.net.
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