COLUMBUS, Ind. – As published in the latest release of ACT Research’s North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, expectations for Class 8 tractors and trailers remain relatively the same in November, though forecasts for dry van trailers are pulled back due to ACT’s recalibration of its expectations regarding power-only brokerage.
For these shipments, the shipper has procured a trailer or already owns one.
“To accomplish the scheme of introducing drop-and-hook productivity into the small carrier spot market was a plan by large fleets and brokerages to boost trailer-to-tractor ratios, build trailer pools, etc., into the wildly growing pandemic stimulus and supply-chain constrained spot market,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “From Q1’21 to Q2’22, DAT’s spot market postings averaged nearly 4.9 million loads per day. Year to date, DAT’s spot posts have averaged less than 1.4 million loads per day, a 71% decline from the heady average experienced at the peak of the pandemic freight bubble.”
The sharp rise and fall in spot market activity reflects a lot of freight getting to where it was originally intended to go, but couldn’t due to capacity limitations in private fleets and other dedicated operations, according to ACT.
Pulling back on this anticipated ratio expansion lowers the trajectory of the dry van market.
Vieth concluded, “One of the things staying our hand from deeper forecast cuts, in the face of weak freight fundamentals, has been a solid industry-wide start to ‘order season.’ The last trimester of the year is the period in which the OEMs usually open their out-year order books, leading to a period of outsized orders that typically extends into March.”
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