COLUMBUS, Ind. – ACT Research has released the latest installment of the ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK report.
“Growing evidence of weaker goods consumption, rising services substitution and rebuilt inventories, with some categories now overstocked, was perhaps the most impactful news in freight this month,” Tim Denoyer, ACT Research vice president and senior analyst, said.
“Recent reports from key retailers, including price cuts and order cancellations due to overstocking, show lower real goods consumption and an inventory cycle that has largely played out after two strenuous years.”
Denoyer said that as freight is softening, trucking employment rose by the most on record, with 27,300 new jobs added in the past two months. He said that driver market recently swung from shortage to surplus. Were that not the case, rates would still be rising.
“Now that the pendulum has begun to swing, ‘how bad?’ and ‘how long?’ have become key questions,” Denoyer said.
“Rates are falling below elevated costs, which is already threatening recent entrants who paid top dollar for used equipment, heading into sharply higher fuel costs and lower spot rates. With equipment still constrained, we expect a sharper, but shorter downcycle in freight markets.”
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