ACT's Freight Forecast: U.S. Rate and Volume Outlook

A User's Guide to the Supply and Demand Balance Between Capacity and Freight


Actionable Intelligence on the Rate Outlook

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.

3 Things to Know About the Current Freight Market:

1. Drive pay increasing amid driver shortage

2. Capacity tightness may persist

3. Rates still on the rise

Ready for insights into rates? 

ACT's Freight Forecast was 98% accurate in 2019 on Truckload Spot Rates. February 2019 report forecast was accurate to the penny for Q4'19 results.

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What's going on in the freight markets?


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ACT Research's Vice President and Senior Analyst Tim Denoyer joined Alex Crissey in his Fleet Future podcast. Denoyer discussed the impact that the coronavirus is having on the trucking industry.

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

  • Leading indicator of 2020 is the order pattern of 2019 new truck and trailer sales
  • Relief valve to oversupply is the export of used trucks. [ACT] forecasts about 14,000 tractors exported in 2019
  • Private fleets grew 10-12% between 2018-2019. Private fleets are no less than 50% of the capacity

Read the full blog post HERE. CHRobinson_FullColorFlat_HiRes


DAT asked that Tim share a guest opinion blog post on the state of the freight markets. In this post, Tim discusses the current freight recession and the expectations of the next pot rate upturn. 

Read the full article HERE.DAT


"Price is really the mechanism that is a signal to the truckers, especially spot prices, that now may not be the best time to order the trucks."  - Tim Denoyer, ACT Research

SupplyChainDive published an interview with Tim Denoyer on September 9, 2019 discussing the correlation between spot rates and truck orders. In the interview Tim reviews:

  • How shippers can used supply-demand balance to save money
  • Why capacity is the leading indicator of spot rates
  • Why spot rates are a leading indicator of truck orders and contract rates
  • How to plan for changes in truckload transportation capacity

Read the full article HERE4d1efb9240e444ac8081990ea567aed4


What problems do you need to solve?

The Freight Forecast helps businesses answer questions to better solve problems. We let the data do the talking:

  • Market intelligence
  • Transportation budgeting
  • Capacity planning
  • Conditions of for-hire trucking industry
  • Spot and contract rate forecasting
  • Spot and contract rate negotiations
  • Dedicated equipment allocations
  • Risk management
  • Capital budgeting
  • Capital benchmarking
  • Guidance assumptions
  • Economic outlook of transportation sector
  • Financial condition of the industry
  • Direction of freight volumes and rates

ACT Freight Forecast Focus

Rate Projections

Gain knowledge of the patterns of supply, demand, and rates, thereby increasing market transparency and facilitating decision making. Using ACT’s analysis and forecasting, businesses on all sides of the freight rate equation can plan and prepare for the next 18 months to understand swings in supply-demand balance. Our models saw the capacity crunch of 2017, accurately predicted the rollover in spot truckload rates which started in the middle of 2018 (as published in our N.A. Commercial Vehicle Outlook report), and they can help you to better understand where freight rates are headed.

Supply Side Knowledge

ACT Research has been analyzing the supply-side of the freight market for more than three decades. Using our foundational population modeling in conjunction with decades of supply-side research has allowed us to produce truly unique rate prediction models.

Truckload Spot Leading Indicator

Need to know where spot rates are going? Our Spot Leading Indicator gives a unique, 3-month look "around the corner." For a history of the success of this tool, click here.

The information we get from ACT is crucial to our planning for our fiscal year, our business planning, how we deploy our's crucial really to everything we do.

Mike Zimm BMO