Freight market pendulum gains momentum
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Freight market pendulum gains momentum

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ACT Research released the latest installment of the ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK report, which noted that growing evidence of weaker goods consumption, rising services substitution and rebuilt inventories, with some categories now overstocked, was the most impactful news in freight this month.

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“Recent reports from key retailers, including price cuts and order cancellations due to overstocking, show lower real goods consumption and an inventory cycle that has largely played out after two strenuous years,” aid Tim Denoyer, vice president and senior analyst, ACT Research. “As freight is softening, trucking employment rose by the most on record, with 27,300 new jobs added in the past two months. The driver market recently swung from shortage to surplus. Were that not the case, rates would still be rising.

“Now that the pendulum has begun to swing, ‘how bad?’ and ‘how long?’ have become key questions,” he continued. “Rates are falling below elevated costs, which is already threatening recent entrants who paid top dollar for used equipment, heading into sharply higher fuel costs and lower spot rates. With equipment still constrained, we expect a sharper, but shorter downcycle in freight markets.”

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The monthly 56-page ACT Freight Forecast report provides forecasts through 2024 for volumes and contract rates for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal sectors of the transportation industry, including the Cass Shipments Index and Cass Truckload Linehaul Index.

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