Freight volumes slowed in April while rates hit record high


The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index, with April data, showed a slowing in volumes, strength in pricing, and a supply-demand balance that is still tight but beginning to show early signs of re-balancing.

Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst said the volume decrease followed a five-month high in March, which was due in part to poor weather in February.

“Some of the strength was make-up for the polar vortex-impacted February level, but this slower growth also likely reflects ongoing supply constraints and the deepening semiconductor shortage,” Denoyer said. “And with both driver and equipment capacity in short supply, we are witnessing the strongest rate environment in survey history, even with a bit slower volumes.”

He added that pent-up demand is still building, and the freight volume outlook remains positive.

“This should keep the market tight, but we expect the rebalancing trend to continue in the medium-term,” he added. “The risks are that substitution back to service spending gradually cools the freight volume environment and that the eventual end of extended unemployment insurance helps driver availability improve.”

The ACT For-Hire Trucking Index is a monthly survey of for-hire trucking fleets. ACT Research converts responses into diffusion indexes, where the neutral or flat activity level is 50.

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Freight Voumes



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