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Supply Chain Industry Updates

All Those Home-Cooked Meals Help Give Freight Sector a Lift

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Transporting “society’s most basic needs” is keeping the freight business humming during the pandemic, according to a new report. In fact, ACT Research concluded that freight markets in general are less impacted by COVID than the general economy has been.

“Even as the economy struggles to regain its footing post-COVID and pre-vaccine, freight markets have been somewhat less impacted,” ACT Vice President Steve Tam said in a statement. “Most freight is related to society’s most basic needs: food, shelter, clothes, transportation. A positive for freight, in the current environment, is that much of the discretionary spending that was ‘experience’ focused, like travel, attending events and dining in restaurants, has been replaced by goods-based purchases that generate a greater amount of freight per dollar.”

Tam’s remarks were based on data from ACT’s latest “Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest.” ACT, which tracks commercial vehicle truck, trailer and bus industry data, created a central hub to help industry members track key metrics during the pandemic. You can access it here.

“One consideration we are seeing weigh on the [commercial vehicle] market is parked capacity, but even with that, a case can be made for a steady, if modest, Class 8 market rebound from here,” Tam said. “Based on continued increases in Classes 5-7 build, the OEMs appear to be betting on business and consumer resilience, while trailer forecasts are improving at the margin with accelerated trends in e-commerce boosting LTL demand and a new generation of home cooking driving some gains in multi-temp refrigerated vans.”

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