ACT Research concluded that spending on goods is driving recovery in freight demand in its latest installment of the ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume Outlook report.
“The substitution of spending to goods and away from services is driving a recovery in freight demand and, coupled with slow capacity re-engagement, has led to unprecedented rate increases,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “We expect the truckload market to rebalance over the course of 2021, as drivers gradually return and with substitution back to services once a vaccine is available. But we don’t see a big loosening as recoveries in housing and industrial should support freight demand.
“The Class 8 tractor fleet is like a big ship, which takes time to turn,” he added. “As a result of the 2020 supply shock, even with aggressive production growth forecasts, fleet growth still looks muted next year.”