New ACT report shows motor carriers enjoying volume growth, pricing power

Black Semi on Interstate
ACT Research’s latest Transportation Digest shows that motor carriers are experiencing continued growth after a downturn earlier this year.

COLUMBUS, Ind. — According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, motor carriers, especially, are enjoying a period of volume growth and pricing power that would have been considered nearly impossible to achieve, though welcome, from an April 2020 vantage point.

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“While we were even then projecting a second half 2020 rebound, the slope of the upward trajectory that started in May has been as unexpected as it has been exponential,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “Final confirmation will come as we make our way through Q3 earnings season, but even now many aspects of the rebound continue to deliver upside surprises.”

Vieth noted that even though this year’s recession was “severe,” it was short-lived for some sectors of the nation’s economy, in particular, the transportation industry.

“The voluntary and mandatory shutdowns of March and April triggered a downturn of unprecedented severity, but the corresponding relaxation has brought a strong revival. Other aspects of this very unique business downturn include easy credit, a substitution of spending on services to goods, lower energy costs, robust e-commerce and a home sales boom,” he said.

“It is fair to question whether some of these trends will have legs that stretch beyond COVID and its cure or mitigation, but for now they are influential for commercial vehicle markets,” he concluded.

The report, which combines proprietary ACT data and analysis from a wide variety of sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report is designed as a quick look at transportation insights for use by fleet and trucking executives, reviewing top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy- and medium-duty segments, the U.S. trailer market, used truck sales information and an overview of the U.S. macro economy.

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