ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Supply-Demand Balance Shows Contract Season Progressing Well for Fleets

Posted on 20. Jun, 2018 by in ACT For-Hire Trucking Index, Press Releases

The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index showed the supply-demand balance building on its return to positive territory last month, following an anomalous dip onto the negative side of the ledger in March. May’s reading was 61.4 (seasonally adjusted), up from 59.6 in April but slightly below the twelve-month average of 62.3.For-Hire Supply-Demand 6-20-18

“The May data show the contract season is likely progressing very well for fleets and the March data were anomalous to a degree based on seasonality, as we’ve noted,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “Our pricing index accelerated to a reading of 71.2 (seasonally adjusted) in May.” Denoyer added, “On the other hand, the volume index is now at a year-to-date average of 62, which is considerably below the average of 68 recorded since the cycle kicked into high gear in June 2017. This could be an early sign of a slowdown and bears watching.”

As part of this month’s survey, ACT Research queried fleets about the affect of the new FMCSA guidance on personal conveyance on their operations. Denoyer commented, “Responses to this question ranged from ‘only minimal impact’ to ‘this will help the drivers out tremendously.’ Concerns over potential abuse, misuse, and safety as a result of this option were on many responders’ minds, but since ELDs still record personal conveyance, abuse was generally expected to be limited.”

The May fleet purchase intentions reading indicated a downtick in equipment demand that may well reflect the increasing scarcity of production slots remaining this year. Purchase intentions for the next three months, according to the report, were a seasonally adjusted 56.4% in May, from 55.9% in April. Over the past twelve months, the buying index has averaged a strong 57.1% reading.