ACT Research’s August For-Hire Trucking Index reported a tight trucking market fueled by ongoing volume, rate surges, and increased driver shortages.
August’s volume index rose to 67.9, while productivity was at 67.8. Both capacity and driver availability decreased to 48.9 and 32.0, respectively. Strong demand and tight supply pushed the pricing index up to 66.4, a new two-year high.
“The average age of U.S. truck drivers is 55, and while we usually have some number of drivers near retirement who will just participate in peak rates, the calculus is different this year,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst.
While he believes driver supply will gradually improve, driver schools are currently challenged by the need for social distancing.
“We expect driver pay to start increasing to address the shortage, but this process takes time. Meanwhile, the acute tightness of the past few months isn’t likely to ease much,” he added.