Tight supply-demand balance reflected in ACT’s latest for-hire index

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Tractor Trailer on Wet Highway
According to the latest For-Hire Trucking Index released by ACT Research, combination of strong demand and tight supply pushed the supply-demand balance to its tightest level in survey history, now at 74.9.

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The latest release of ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index, which includes data for October, shows a second consecutive month of record tightness. October’s volume index was flat at 70.7 (seasonally adjusted), while pricing dropped two points to 69.2, but still a top-decile result. With capacity and driver availability in contraction territory, at 45.8 and 28.6 respectively, the combination of strong demand and tight supply pushed the supply-demand balance to its tightest level in survey history, now at 74.9.

“As capacity tightened further, volume (demand) remained elevated, tightening the market balance even further from already tight levels in recent months,” said Tim Denoyer, vice president and senior analyst for ACT Research.

“Class 8 retail sales have improved recently, suggesting equipment capacity will start to grow over the next few quarters, but as a steel shortage could constrain production and with ongoing driver market constraints, tightness is likely to continue in the near-term,” he continued. “We would still expect some loosening after the holiday season, as parked trucks are redeployed when extended unemployment benefits expire, but strong demand from restocking should keep the market fairly tight in the near-term.”

ACT Research’s 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. For-hire executives interested in participating in the survey can email [email protected] for information. Survey participants receive a detailed monthly analysis of the survey data, including volumes, freight rates, capacity, productivity and purchasing intentions, along with a complimentary copy of ACT’s Transportation Digest report.

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