Motor Carriers Enjoying Volume Growth and Pricing Power

COLUMBUS, IN – According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, motor carriers, especially, are enjoying a period of volume growth and pricing power that would have been considered nearly impossible to achieve, though welcome, from an April 2020 vantage point.

The report, which combines proprietary ACT data and analysis from a wide variety of sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report is designed as a quick look at transportation insights for use by fleet and trucking executives, reviewing top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy and medium duty segments, the US trailer market, used truck sales information, and an overview of the US macro economy.

“While we were even then projecting a second half 2020 rebound, the slope of the upward trajectory that started in May has been as unexpected as it has been exponential,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He added, “Final confirmation will come as we make our way through Q3 earnings season, but even now many aspects of the rebound continue to deliver upside surprises.”

Vieth explained, “While severe, the 2020 recession was short-lived for some sectors of the US economy, particularly transportation.” He continued, “The voluntary and mandatory shutdowns of March and April triggered a downturn of unprecedented severity, but the corresponding relaxation has brought a strong revival. Other aspects of this very unique business downturn include easy credit, a substitution of spending on services to goods, lower energy costs, robust e-commerce, and a home sales boom.”

In conclusion, Vieth noted, “It is fair to question whether some of these trends will have legs that stretch beyond COVID and its cure or mitigation, but for now they are influential for commercial vehicle markets.”

Additionally, ACT Research recently announced plans for a new multi-client study focusing on electrification of the commercial vehicle industry to be released in 2021. The scope of the study will include unit sales for the US and Canada, annually from 2020 to 2030, with single-year outlooks for 2035 and 2040. Class 8 truck and Classes 4-7 truck and bus segments will be considered, with additional segmentation encompassing step vans, conventional and low cab forward trucks, RV, school bus, yard spotter, transit bus categories, as well as the Class 8 straight, day cab, and sleeper subcategories. Our research will compare purchase and operational costs for diesel, battery, fuel cell, and hybrid powertrains in a rigorous comparative total cost of ownership (TCO) framework. It will also take into account concerns, such as infrastructure requirements and costs, regulation, and issues including maintenance, range, durability and vehicle and component replacement. For more details about how to participate in this study, including a full prospectus, contact Ian McGriff at or click here to let us know of your interest.

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