Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume Outlook

Our freight rate and volume forecasting services the bridge of ACT’s leadership in commercial vehicle reporting, award-winning economic analysis with ACT’s transportation industry expertise. We provide an innovative and comprehensive view of supply and demand in trucking markets. The purpose of this monthly report is to provide visibility to industry professionals across the supply chain on the future of freight transportation economics to help planning and budgeting. This report also serves as a guide for negotiating freight rates.


ACT’s Freight Forecast was 98% accurate in 2019 on Truckload Spot Rates. February 2019 report forecast was accurate to the penny for Q4’19 results.

What allows ACT Research to be so accurate in forecasting freight rates? We understand the capacity of the freight market better than anyone. Since 1986, ACT Research has been working directly with OEMs as they discretely share their data and information, allowing ACT Research to have an unprecedented level of understanding of the commercial vehicle market. Couple this data with our growing Used Truck database, our award-winning economist, and years of industry experience and you get a best-in-class outlook for the transportation market.

The ACT Freight Forecast provides quarterly forecasts for the direction of volumes and contract rates through 2020 and annual forecasts through 2021 for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal segments of the transportation industry. For the truckload spot market, the report provides forecasts for the next twelve months. The ACT Research Freight Forecast provides an unprecedented look at the future of freight rates to help businesses in transportation and logistics management plan for the future with confidence.

Ready for an accurate Freight Forecast? Fill out the form below to start your subscription to the Freight Forecast.



  • Market intelligence
  • Transportation budgeting
  • Capacity planning
  • Conditions of for-hire trucking industry


  • Spot and contract rate forecasting
  • Spot and contract rate negotiations
  • Dedicated equipment allocations
  • Rick management
  • Capital budgeting
  • Capital benchmarking
  • Guidance assumptions


  • Economic outlook of transportation sector
  • Financial condition of the industry
  • Direction of freight volumes and rates
[info_list_father css=”.vc_custom_1550592462100{margin-top: 45px !important;}”][info_list_son imgstyle=”img-circle” titleclr=”#f15114″ descclr=”#041e66″ title=”Rate Projections” desc=”A breakdown of rate projections built around Truck-Load, Less-Than-Truck-Load, and Intermodal data.” image_id=”2992″ caption_url=””]Gain knowledge of the patterns of supply, demand, and rates, thereby increasing market transparency and facilitating decision making. Using ACT’s analysis and forecasting, businesses on all sides of the freight rate equation can plan and prepare for the next 18 months to understand swings in supply-demand balance. Our models saw the capacity crunch of 2017, accurately predicted the rollover in spot truckload rates which started in the middle of 2018 (as published in our N.A. Commercial Vehicle Outlook report), and they can help you to better understand where freight rates are headed.[/info_list_son][info_list_son imgstyle=”img-circle” titleclr=”#f15114″ descclr=”#041e66″ image_id=”2993″ title=”Supply Side Knowledge” desc=”ACT Research has been analyzing the supply-side of freight for over three decades. Using our foundational population modeling in conjunction with decades of supply-side research allows us to produce a truly unique rate predictions model.” caption_url=””]ACT Research has been analyzing the supply-side of the freight market for over three decades. Using our foundational population modeling in conjunction with decades of supply-side research has allowed us to produce truly unique rate prediction models. With this background, we have identified market leading indicators and created tools, like our Truckload Rate Gauge, to help our clients take action to plan for the future.[/info_list_son][info_list_son imgstyle=”img-circle” titleclr=”#f15114″ listwidth=”0″ descclr=”#041e66″ image_id=”2994″ title=”Truckload Cycle” desc=”To understand freights rates, you have to understand the truckload cycle and how it impacts rates historically.” caption_url=””]The historical truckload cycle gives insights into the current truckload sector and what to anticipate as we measure demand and supply of the freight market.[/info_list_son][/info_list_father]

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The types of businesses that should be interested in the ACT Freight Rate Forecast are Shippers, Transportation/Logistics Providers, Investors, Manufacturers, or anyone working in the Supply Chain.

With this report, you will receive freight rate and volume forecasts for truckload, less-than-truckload, and intermodal. In-depth market analysis of capacity and demand for each segment as well as analysis of related markets including last mile and port activity. We have also included a carrier profitability analysis, and, most importantly, a guide to negotiating freight rates.  

Other businesses are using this report to inform them in preparation for business planning and budgeting. Additionally, businesses are utilizing this report for supply and demand analysis to understand freight rate outlook.

If your business is interested in taking the ACT Freight Forecast: U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK, we also recommend:

This report is available for purchase by selecting the Subscribe button below, or by clicking the link HERE.

On March 26, 2020, ACT Research team updated the Freight Forecast given the COVID-19 impact. Listen to better understand how ACT Research views the freight markets.

C.H. Robinson’s Steve Raetz published an end-of-the-year blog discussing 2019 and insights gleaned as we roll into 2020. Of note was Raetz’s utilization of ACT’s Freight Forecast report and its benefit to C.H. Robinson over the past year.

  • Leading indicator of 2020 is the order pattern of 2019 new truck and trailer sales
  • Relief valve to oversupply is the export of used trucks. [ACT] forecasts about 14,000 tractors exported in 2019
  • Private fleets grew 10-12% between 2018-2019. Private fleets are no less than 50% of the capacity

Read the full blog post HERE. CHRobinson_FullColorFlat_HiRes


DAT asked that Tim share a guest opinion blog post on the state of the freight markets. In this post, Tim discusses the current freight recession and the expectations of the next pot rate upturn. 

Read the full article HERE.DAT


“Price is really the mechanism that is a signal to the truckers, especially spot prices, that now may not be the best time to order the trucks.”  – Tim Denoyer, ACT Research

SupplyChainDive published an interview with Tim Denoyer on September 9 discussing the correlation between spot rates and truck orders. In the interview Tim reviews:

  • How shippers can used supply-demand balance to save money
  • Why capacity is the leading indicator of spot rates
  • Why spot rates are a leading indicator of truck orders and contract rates
  • How to plan for changes in truckload transportation capacity

Read the full article HERE4d1efb9240e444ac8081990ea567aed4


Only July 11 FreightWaves released an article discussing the state of the industry, referencing Tim Denoyer and Kenny Vieth and their perspective on what ACT Research is now calling a trucking recession.

Read the full article HERE. FW-LOGO2018-Color@5x

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