Freight Cycle 'Near Bottom,' Says ACT

May 16, 2023

"The freight cycle remains clearly weak" as the number of shippers declines, according to ACT Research.

ACT Research Vice President and Senior Analyst Tim Denoyer says that "interstate operating authorities are contracting at a record rate, with about 11,000 net revocations since last October, including about 1,600 net revocations in April," a near-record level.

"This is beginning to tighten capacity, which will also help spot rates find bottom and begin to rise."

Denoyer adds that the "intersection of additional volume and tightening capacity underpins our forecast for a near-bottom in spot truckload rates. We've been expecting the bottom roughly around this month since we introduced 2023 spot rate forecasts 16 months ago."

ACT Research also reveals that long-distance trucking employment is contracting. "Long-haul trucking declined by 8,700 jobs" during the first quarter of 2023. Since trends in employment follow trends in freight, long-haul jobs are set to decline this year."