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ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index shows capacity recovering

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

The latest release of ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with November data, showed across-the-board increases. The ACT For-Hire Trucking Index is a monthly survey of for-hire trucking service providers. ACT Research converts responses into diffusion indexes, where the neutral or flat activity level is 50.

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“Led by better driver availability, the Capacity Index increased 6.1 points in November, to 54.6 (SA), the best result since May 2019 in a sharp deviation from the trend of the past two years,” commented Tim Denoyer, vice president and senior analyst at ACT Research. “Exemptions from vaccine mandates for most truck driving jobs may aid hiring at the margin, though dock capacity will likely be strained.”

He added, “With the tempo of the holiday freight drumbeat increasing, ACT’s For-Hire Pricing Index rose 1.1 points in November. While capacity remains tight and rates continue to rise, the increase in driver availability indicates gradual rebalancing in the market has begun.”

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Regarding the supply-demand balance, Denoyer noted, “November’s Supply-Demand Balance ticked up, as volumes increased more than capacity. While down from this year’s peak of 69.2 in April, the current reading still reflects a fairly tight supply-demand environment. Significant unmet demand remains in equipment markets, and the near-term outlook for freight volume remains positive.”

The ACT Freight Forecast provides forecasts for spot truckload rates by trailer type for four to six quarters and truck volumes and contract rates for three years for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal segments of the transportation industry. In 2019, the average accuracy of the report’s truckload spot rate forecasts was 98%. The ACT Research Freight Forecast uses equipment capacity modeling and the firm’s economics expertise to provide unprecedented visibility for the future of freight rates, helping businesses in transportation and logistics management plan for the future with confidence.

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