ACT Research shows freight conditions plummeted in May

The monthly report on the trucking market showed nearly “across-the-board declines” in May, according to the latest ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index.

The only positive news is that truck capacity rose slightly in May to reach 54.6, up from April’s 54.3 reading.

The Pricing Index dropped to its lowest level in survey history, plummeting to 38.8 in May – down from 45.4 in April, according to ACT.

“May’s Pricing Index was the fourth consecutive negative, after 30 straight months of expansion,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT’s vice president and senior analyst, said in a release. “This confirms our expectation that the annual bid season is not going well for truckers. We continue to believe rates are under pressure from weak freight volumes and strong capacity growth.”

The Volume Index also slumped further into negative territory in May, hitting 46.7 from 49.5 in April. Fleet productivity/utilization dropped to 46.0 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, down from 49.4 in April.

“Volume in May fell for the sixth time in the past seven months,” Denoyer said. “The softness coincides with several other recent freight metrics, with the drop likely due in part to rapid growth of private fleets and the slowdown in the industrial sector of the economy.”

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 13 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and Clarissa lives in the Kansas City area with her family. If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to