ECONOMIC WATCH: Rates at risk as unemployed drivers return – Truck News


COLUMBUS, Ind. – The U.S. freight market has stabilized, but
excess capacity could put a rate rebound at risk, according to ACT Research.

The industry analyst published the June installment of its Freight
Forecast: U.S. Rate and Volume Outlook
, warning that capacity can come back
online quickly due to the number of unemployed qualified drivers.

“Freight market
stabilization progressed this month with a strong rebound in spot rates. The
number of trucks parked in April was likely into the six-figure range, and the
increased unemployment benefits incentivized drivers not to return to work in
the near-term,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT’s vice-president and senior analyst.

(Source: ACT Research)

“However, capacity tightness because
of too few drivers is much easier to solve than tightness because of too few
trucks. With record numbers of qualified drivers looking for work, we expect
the current imbalance to be resolved relatively quickly, which will press rates
lower as seasonal strength fades in the coming months.

“Thereafter, we see the Class 8 tractor capacity balance
tightening for the first time in two years, as this latent capacity is
absorbed. As a result of the equipment supply shock from the pandemic, our
confidence in a significant freight rate cycle on the longer-term horizon is

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