The latest release of ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with October data, showed a second consecutive month of record tightness.
October’s volume index was flat at 70.7 (SA), 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 remained elevated, tightening the market balance even further from already tight levels in recent months,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “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. 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.”