ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index for last month showed an about-face from the record surge in June, falling six points to 64.3, while pricing and productivity were at 60.3 and 61.5, respectively.
Capacity (48.1) and driver availability (39.3) both contracted, highlighting that driver capacity is tighter than equipment capacity.
According to Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst, the drop in driver availability occurring while freight volumes are recovering “explains the need for higher rates that we’re seeing in the spot market.”
“Consistent with industry estimates that CDL issuance this year is tracking about 40% below normal levels, the Driver Index has tightened sharply,” he added. “We see this as the primary capacity constraint presently, as equipment remains available at this point.”
Denoyer also pointed out that the driver shortage had “tightened the market balance” even before the arrival of Hurricane Laura, “which is adding further stress to the trucking markets.”