Driver availability in the trucking sector in February tightened to another new low point for the past three years, a shortage that could constrain any significant additions to freight capacity despite high demand, according to a report today from transportation industry analysis firm ACT Research.
Columbus, Indiana-based ACT creates its "For-Hire Trucking Index” by performing a monthly survey of for-hire trucking service providers, then converting their responses into a diffusion index where the neutral or flat activity level is 50.
Based on that scale, February’s reading of 23.6 sank even lower than its previous low point the previous month, when the January index was 25.0.
“As fleets often like to be gearing up for springtime volume growth in February, the tightness in the driver market feels acute. For the third straight month, this was the tightest reading in the three-year history of this index,” Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst, said in a release.
The record-low driver supply is likely caused by an array of factors, he said.
“The latest stimulus is yet another factor on a long list of driver constraints keeping the truckload market tight,” Denoyer said. “Demographics and the FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse are also factors inhibiting driver re-engagement, even in response to record spot rates and rising driver pay.”
ACT Research Trucking Index Highlights Another New Low in Driver Availabilityhttps://t.co/XO38J7GBP7— ACT Research (@actresearch) March 19, 2021