COLUMBUS, Ind. — The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, which includes data for January 2021, showed a Driver Availability Index that has tightened to its lowest point in the past three years.
Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst commented, “The Driver Availability Index tightened to a new low in January, to 25.0 from 28.1 in December,” said Tim Denoyer, vice president and senior analyst for ACT. “For the second straight month, this was the tightest reading in the three-year history of this index. Rising driver pay for several months has yet to impact the tight driver market. The surge in pandemic cases, which is now reversing, and extended unemployment benefits, which are set to be extended further, are also supply constraints.”
The ACT For-Hire Trucking Index is a monthly survey of for-hire trucking service providers; responses are converted into diffusion indexes, where the neutral or flat activity level is 50.
“Though many driver schools did not reopen last year, and school capacity will likely be constrained into mid-2021, rising vaccinations and pay should help driver school output recover, along with some recent news of new schools,” Denoyer noted. “Still, demographics and the FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse are inhibiting driver re-engagement, though elevated spot rates and rising driver pay should have a larger effect going forward.”
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