ACT Research
Kenny Vieth (3)

ACT upgrades CV outlook on ‘perfect storm of positives’

Sept. 29, 2020
‘Summer vacation doesn’t fit into a truck, but stuff does,’ Senior Analyst Kenny Vieth says in latest Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest

In the release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research reported that an unforeseen robustness of the perfect storm of positives into late spring and summer, following the initial shock of COVID-19 shutdowns and other mitigation efforts, has resulted in sharp upgrades in commercial vehicle expectations since May.

“There have been a number of factors that have contributed to significantly better freight outcomes, in spite of the dramatic economic downturn that continues to negatively impact significant swaths of the US economy. One of the biggest surprises is illustrated by real personal consumption,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. “Since consumers couldn’t spend on experiences like vacations, sporting events and concerts, they put that money to work buying goods: Summer vacation doesn’t fit into a truck, but stuff does.”

Specifically regarding how the CV industry is doing, Vieth continued, “On top of the consistent roll-out of good economic numbers from consumer activity, the sustained rally to record highs in dry van truckload spot rates reflects the sizeable piece of the driver supply that was sidelined in April. The resulting rise in carrier profits bodes well for commercial vehicle demand. Even in the face of significant parked capacity right now, a case can be made for a steady, if historically modest, Class 8 market rebound from here.”

The report, which combines ACT’s proprietary data analysis from a wide variety of industry sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report includes a relevant but high-level forecast summary, complete with transportation insights for use by commercial vehicle dealer executives, reviewing top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy and medium duty segments, the total US trailer market, used truck sales information, and a review of the US macro economy.