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ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index highlights tight supply-demand balance

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David Sickels is the Associate Editor of Tire Review and Fleet Equipment magazines. He has a history of working in the media, marketing and automotive industries in both print and online.

The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with September data, showed a continuing tight trucking market, with volume and rate surges ongoing and driver availability deteriorating, ACT says.

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September’s Volume Index rose to 70.7 (SA), while Pricing hit 71.3, a two-year high. With capacity and driver availability in contraction territory, at 46.6 and 30.6, respectively, the combination of strong demand and tight supply pushed the Supply-Demand Balance to its tightest level in survey history, now at 74.1.

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“As capacity tightened further, volume (demand) also accelerated, tightening the market balance even further from already tight levels in recent months,” Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst said. “Class 8 retail sales have improved recently, suggesting equipment capacity will gradually start to grow over the next few quarters, but the ongoing driver market capacity constraints argue for tightness to continue in the near-term. After the holiday season, we would expect some rebalancing as parked trucks are redeployed and extended unemployment benefits expire. Strong demand from restocking should keep the market fairly tight in the near-term, with supply and demand likely to find better balance into the medium term.”

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