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ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Volume Index Still Negative

January 22, 2019, 06:50 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

The latest release of ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index showed the Volume Index still in negative territory, below the 50 neutral mark, in December, at 48.1. The supply-demand balance turned down even further, hitting 44.3 on a seasonally adjusted (SA) basis.

“The volume softness was likely due in part to the unusual tariff-related inventory build that sat at near-port warehouses,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst.

Regarding the supply-demand balance reading, Denoyer commented, “After tightening a bit in October, the November and December readings show the loosest industry supply-demand balance since April of 2016."

He added, “Both accelerating Class 8 tractor production and slowing freight growth are likely to loosen the supply-demand balance as we approach the 2019 contract rate season.”

The December fleet purchase intentions reading indicated a drop in equipment demand, with 51.6 percent of respondents planning to buy trucks in the next three months, down from 64.1 percent (SA) in November.

Denoyer noted, “After record orders last year, this series should rebound as long lead-time truck orders are built and hit the highways.”

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