Freight Rate & Volume Forecast

ACT’s freight rates and volume analysis and forecast give truckers, logistics, and supply chain businesses the tools to plan for the future of their business.


Freight Forecast: U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK

Our freight rate and volume forecasts build on ACT’s leadership in Class 8 tractor reporting and award-winning economic analysis with our 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] is undoubtedly the deepest monthly report on transportation in the industry.”

Dave Broering, President, Non-Asset Solutions



From 12 months out, the ACT Research Freight Forecast report was 98.7% accurate in predicting the aggregate DAT spot rate, ex-fuel, in Q2’22.

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.

Key Items Covered Monthly in the Freight Forecast:

  • ACT Class 8 Tractor Sales Forecasts
  • Cass Shipments Index Forecasts
  • Cass Truckload Linehaul Index® Forecasts
  • DAT Dry Van Spot Rate Forecasts
  • DAT Dry Van Contract Rate Forecasts *New in December 2022
  • DAT Refrigerated Spot Rate Forecasts
  • DAT Refrigerated Contract Rate Forecasts *New in December 2022
  • DAT Flatbed Spot Rate Forecasts
  • DAT Flatbed Contract Rate Forecasts *New in December 2022
  • LTL Tonnage and Yield Forecasts
  • Intermodal Load and Rate Forecasts
  • US Economic Forecasts

The ACT Freight Forecast provides quarterly forecasts for the direction of volumes and contract rates through 2022 and annual forecasts through 2023 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.

With this report, you will receive freight rate and volume forecasts for truckload, less-than-truckload, and intermodal, with an 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.

We Let The Data Do The Talking

The Freight Forecast is a tool that helps businesses answer questions and solve problems. How might your business use the Freight Forecast?

trucking freight rates
  • Market intelligence
  • Transportation budgeting
  • Capacity planning
  • Conditions of the 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 the transportation sector
  • Financial condition of the industry
  • Direction of freight volumes and rates

For-Hire Trucking Index

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. For more than a decade, ACT Research has been surveying for-hire carriers to better understand their perspective of the market. These proprietary survey results are critical to the input of the Freight Forecast.

Are You a For-Hire Carrier?

Click the button below to begin participating in the survey.

for-hire trucking survey

“Assuring rail equipment capacity for our intermodal stakeholders is an imperative at TTX Company. Meeting this goal requires accurate freight demand forecasting which, in turn, necessitates an understanding of market conditions and issues.  ACT Research’s monthly Freight Forecast complements our internal research and analysis by providing keen insight on demand drivers, as well as emerging and evolving trends. The report’s content is well-written, and the information provided is organized and easy to access and interpret.”

Frank Adcock, AVP Marketing

TTX Company

Freight & Transportation Experts

c.h. robinson logo

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

cnbc logo

August 12, 2021, ACT’s Tim Denoyer was interviewed and cited on CNBC discussing the Cass Freight Index®, a report he authors and an index forecasted by ACT Research.

cass information systems logo

Monthly, Tim Denoyer writes the Cass Transportation Index report, an up-to-date insight on shipping volumes and freight costs.

How Does C.H. Robinson Utilize ACT’s Freight Forecast?

Take a look at C.H. Robinson’s May 12, 2021 MARKET INSIGHTS LIVE with their Director of Research & Market Intelligence, Steve Raetz, and Jon Horvath, Director of Economics & Marketplace Dynamics discover how others are utilizing ACT’s forecasts.

See the October 14, 2021 MARKET INSIGHTS update where C.H. Robinson utilizes ACT’s Class 8 and Freight Forecast 👉 HERE.

Need More Actionable Intelligence?

Below are recommendations of complimentary reports and databases for analysis and understanding of the transportation and commercial vehicle markets. These reports provide additional data and insights to better understand the commercial vehicle supply to the market, as well as historical freight data. Utilizing these together can provide additional value.

Ready to Get Started?

Are you in need of data and analysis for your business? Complete the form, and a member of our team will be in touch soon.