Columbus, Ind. – ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, showed volume, productivity and the supply-demand balance all declined in September.
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 activity level is 50.
“It’s getting choppier out there, with more variance between freight data sets,” Tim Denoyer, vice president and senior analyst at ACT Research, said. “While not comprehensive, our For-Hire Trucking Indexes draw from a strong top-tier community of medium and large fleets with a sharp sense of market conditions and direction. So, we view these results as cautionary leading indicators for the broader market.”
Denoyer said that six months after the market balance turned loose, rates have turned down broadly as contracts are re-priced. Downward pressure on freight demand related to inflation and interest rates, coupled with recovering equipment and driver capacity, will likely keep rates under pressure for a few more quarters.
The ACT Freight Forecast provides forecasts for spot truckload rates by trailer type for four to six quarters and truck volumes and contract rates for three years for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal segments of the transportation industry. In 2019, the average accuracy of the report’s truckload spot rate forecasts was 98%. 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 with confidence.
“The market fell to the loosest level since April 2020 in September, which portends additional rate pressure, but capacity growth has begun to slow, which is key to the bottoming process for rates,” Denoyer said.
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