ACT’s February for-hire index points to another new low in truck driver availability

ACT’s February for-hire index points to another new low in truck driver availability
According to ACT Research’s February For-Hire Trucking Index, driver availability dropped from 25.0 to 23.6, reaching yet another low.

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The latest release of ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index, which includes February data, showed a Driver Availability Index that has tightened to another new low point in the past three years.

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.

The index tightened to a new low in February, to 23.6 from 25.0 in January, according to Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst.

“As fleets often like to be gearing up for springtime volume growth in February, the tightness in the driver market feels acute,” Denoyer said.

This is the third straight month that the index had the tightest reading in the three-year history of its development.

“The latest stimulus is yet another factor on a long list of driver constraints keeping the truckload market tight,” Denoyer said. “Demographics and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse are also factors inhibiting driver re-engagement, even in response to record spot rates and rising driver pay.

“Significant additions to capacity this year are unlikely,” he concluded.

The ACT Freight Forecast provides forecasts for the direction of truck volumes and contract rates quarterly through 2020 with three years of annual forecasts for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal segments of the transportation industry. For the truckload spot market, the report provides forecasts for the next 12 months. In 2019, the average accuracy of the report’s truckload spot rate forecasts was 98%.

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