Photo: U.S. DOT

Photo: U.S. DOT

A report on Class 8 freight volumes issued by ACT Research Co. dovetails with other analysis released this week that signal motors carriers are starting to feel the effect of a slowdown in both import/export activity and in domestic manufacturing levels.

ACT Research said its latest For-Hire Trucking Index indicates that “freight volumes in October were disappointing” and that, more broadly, the October survey was in line with other reports for the month that show softer freight conditions.

“Our for-hire freight volume index was the lowest reading since December 2012 and the first negative October reading since the inception of our survey in 2009,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst.

“Anecdotally,” he continued, “we are hearing that shippers are coming into the market early for bids, which underscores the softening in the supply-demand dynamic as they look to take advantage of current weakness.”

Forty-five percent of the fleets in the ACT survey reported a decrease in freight in October, “a time when freight should be increasing ahead of the holiday season,” Vieth noted.

Related: 3 Reports Show Uneven Freight Movements