Our freight rate and volume forecasting services are the bridge between ACT's leadership in Class 8 forecasting and award-winning economic analysis, with ACT's transportation industry experience.
“Real retail sales recently turned positive after a year of declines, and after 18 months of destocking, a restock is drawing near, spurred by ocean risks. Supply dynamics are also shifting as 2024 begins, setting up a new stage of the cycle. While partly temporary, the mid-January cold-related slowdown in rail volumes is already sparking truckload spot activity.”
US freight cycle fundamentals will improve in 2024, according to the latest release of the Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK report. Freight demand is below trend, but starting to recover, as post-pandemic effects fade, both real disposable incomes and retail sales are accelerating, and disruptions in ocean shipping are likely catalyzing the end of the 18-month destock.
“The new year begins with global shipping in turmoil, import freight shifting from East to West, and for-hire demand on the long side of a two-plus-year downturn,” shared Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst. “Changing ocean and inventory dynamics support an upturn in freight demand, particularly intermodal, where we raise our rate forecasts this month.”
Global ocean shipping disruptions will likely add to air and land freight movements in 2024. The two primary routes from Asia to the US East Coast have been severely impacted by conflict in the Red Sea and low water in the Panama Canal. This is pressing freight to the west coast ports, where the intermodal network will likely experience strong demand, which will eventually flow into the truckload market.
“Real retail sales recently turned positive after a year of declines, and after 18 months of destocking, a restock is drawing near, spurred by ocean risks. Supply dynamics are also shifting as 2024 begins, setting up a new stage of the cycle. While partly temporary, the mid-January cold-related slowdown in rail volumes is already sparking truckload spot activity,” Denoyer concluded.
The monthly 58-page ACT Freight Forecast report provides analysis and forecasts for a broad range of U.S. freight measures, including the Cass Freight Index, Cass Truckload Linehaul Index, and DAT spot and contract rates by trailer type. The service provides monthly, quarterly, and annual predictions for the TL, LTL, and intermodal markets over a two- to three-year time horizon, including capacity, volumes, and rates. The Freight Forecast provides unmatched detail on the freight rate outlook, helping companies across the supply chain plan with greater visibility and less uncertainty.
VP & Senior Analyst
Key Items Covered Monthly In the ACT Freight Forecast: