ACT Research: Freight capacity decline likely to continue

ACT Research: Freight capacity decline likely to continue

The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index reflects the slowly progressing freight market recovery.

ACT Research says the For-Hire Trucking Volume Index increased by 1.7 points in January to 50.0, seasonally adjusted, from 48.3 in December. ACT says the service boom following the pandemic has retreated, and positively for freight, goods consumption looks to be back in vogue. The company adds that disposable income continues to outpace inflation (+4.2% in 2023), and job growth remains strong, meaning the gradually improving trend is expected to continue. 

“Freight demand continued its gradual recovery in January with just the fifth reading at or above the neutral 50 level in the past 22 months,” says Carter Vieth, research analyst at ACT Research. “The improvement may be partly temporary due to the cold snap.”


ACT Research says the For-Hire Trucking Fleet Capacity Index increased by 5.6 points month-over-month to 49.8 in January. The increase may be related to less available capacity due to cold weather in January, but capacity continued to contract.

“For-hire capacity has contracted in seven of the past nine months, and with many large fleets lowering capex budgets in 2024, plus delaying additions, capacity declines are likely to continue,” Vieth added.


The Supply-Demand Balance decreased in January to 50.2, from 54.2 in December, as the increase in capacity was larger than the increase in volumes.

“While lower in January, this marks the sixth consecutive month in which the Supply-Demand Balance has been positive, with decreasing capacity being the primary driver, but lesser volume declines have also contributed,” said Vieth. “Six months of green shoots suggests a more balanced market in 2024, after 17 months in a loose market balance.”

You May Also Like

Volvo Group to build new heavy-duty truck manufacturing plant in Mexico

Volvo expects the plant to be operational in 2026.


The Volvo Group announced that it will build a new heavy-duty truck manufacturing plant in Mexico to supplement its U.S. production. The plant will provide additional capacity for both Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks in the U.S. and Canadian markets, and support Mack truck sales in Mexico and Latin America, Volvo said. Volvo expects the plant to be operational in 2026.

J&R Schugel wraps Kenworth T680s to support driver causes

After a driver beat breast cancer, the company wrapped her truck in pink and white to support her goal of raising awareness.

FTR: Class 8 orders down more than 30% month-over-month

Despite the substantial drop from February, FTR says the market is performing well, as March orders are on track with 2023.

A ‘Toward Zero’ emissions Q&A with Volvo Trucks’s Roger Alm

Talking through the challenges, the technological advances, and the strategies for a sustainable future.

ACT Research trailer report finds carriers with ‘reduced willingness to invest in equipment’

ACT Research says limited capex and companies saving money to meet EPA regulations are currently weighing on trailer demand.


Other Posts

Peterbilt offers Cummins X15N natural gas engine in Models 579, 567, 520

Orders are scheduled for production in Q3 of this year.

Range Energy receives $23.5M in new financing for electric trailers

This recent funding follows the company’s $8M seed round from November 2022, bringing total funding to $31.5M.

S&P Global Mobility: U.S. commercial truck market beat expectations

According to new CV registrations in 2023, 45% of upfitted vehicles are being used as service/utility vehicles, or as dry freight vans.

MEMA responds to finalized EPA Phase 3 standards

MEMA and its members welcome the EPA’s final rule for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles.