COLUMBUS, Ind. — Truckload spot rates experienced their first significant upswing in the past year from late November into early January, and the spread between spot and contract rates has started to tighten, according to the December 2022 installment of the ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK report.
“While market conditions remain broadly loose, we’re seeing more signs of slowing supply, key to the bottoming process,” Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst, said.
Denoyer said that slowing supply is key for the U.S. truckload market to transition from the late-cycle stage experienced in 2022 to the cycle-bottom phase, which features a thinning of marginal capacity amid lower rates, preceding an early-cycle market tightening.
“Because rates are now far below costs in some cases, the market may experience both the cycle-bottom and early-cycle phases in 2023,” he said.
The monthly 58-page ACT Freight Forecast report provides analysis and forecasts for a broad range of U.S. freight measures, including the Cass Freight Index, Cass Truckload Linehaul Index and DAT spot and contract rates by trailer type.
The service provides monthly, quarterly, and annual predictions for the TL, LTL and intermodal markets over a two-to three-year time horizon, including capacity, volumes, and rates.
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