COLUMBUS, Ind. – For the third time in the past four months, the freight volume index is a welcome change after last month’s worst-in-4-years print. The recent shift to positive in this metric since May suggests that if conditions are net exactly improving at this point, they have at least stopped getting worse, ACT Research said.
Prior to May, 14 of the preceding 15 “net capacity” readings were negative. Highlighting the “better, but not better” nature of survey’s “net capacity” output, the freight rate component remained negative in August, a sixth decline in the past eight months.
The big driver of the positive “net capacity” outcome in August was a sharp spike upwards in the freight volume component of the index. Just as freight growth and capacity additions showed weakness in July, strength in both metrics in August are related to seasonality: Freight starts moving in August following plant shutdowns in July even as truckers come back to work following their own vacations.