ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Volume Index and Supply-Demand Balance Both Below Neutral in November

Posted on 18. Dec, 2018 by in ACT For-Hire Trucking Index, Press Releases

For-Hire Volume Index 12-17-18The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index showed the Volume Index dropping into negative territory, at 48.1, in November, for the first time in 27 months (50 is neutral). The supply-demand balance turned down even further, hitting 45.2 on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

For-Hire Supply-Demand 12-17-18“Volume softened in November, after a strong October reading,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst. He added, “One of our friends in the industry indicated the weaker month was partly because his higher-paid drivers can now afford to take more time off. Pre-tariff shipping also appeared to take a breather in November, but still seems likely to require some payback early next year.”

Meanwhile, capacity growth accelerated amid strong retail truck sales. Denoyer commented, “The combination of a drop in Volume and rise in the Capacity Index loosened the supply-demand balance. The November reading shows the loosest industry balance since April 2016.” He continued, “We see this as a caution sign regarding rates in 2019. Accelerating Class 8 tractor production and slowing freight growth could continue to loosen the supply-demand balance as we head toward the 2019 contract rate season.”

The November fleet purchase intentions reading indicated another uptick in equipment demand, with 64.1% of respondents planning to buy trucks in the next three months, up from 57.2% in October. Denoyer noted, “After record year-to-date orders, this series should remain elevated as long lead-time truck orders are built and hit the highways.”

ACT’s 60th seminar is scheduled for March 25-27, 2019, and will feature a trucker/fleet panel, as well as discussions on near-term demand of commercial vehicles and the impacts of emerging technologies on change in the North American commercial vehicle industry.

Information on the seminar can be found by CLICKING HERE.