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ACT says net orders of commerical trailers up in December

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
January 27, 2011

Class 8 vehicle commercial trailer net orders increased 7 percent—or 22,915—in December over November, according to data from ACT Research Co., a provider of data and analysis for trucks and other commercial vehicles.

ACT also reported that December factory shipments were up 12 percent from November and up 68 percent on an annual basis. The firm also noted that seven of the nine trailer categories reported triple-digit annual increases in December, with the dry van segment up 417 percent. Commercial trailer factory shipments were up 52 percent for all of 2010 and net orders increased 105 percent.

“Comparatively speaking, 2010 was a good year for the commercial trailer industry as factory shipments rebounded by 52 percent,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst, in a statement. “However, the fact that even with that increase, 2010 was the second worse year for factory shipments since 1983 clearly shows how bad 2009 was. The good news is that orders have ramped up nicely in the last quarter and set the stage for strong growth in 2011.”

This update follows recent news from ACT, indicating that December net orders of heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicles for North American markets at 27,044 units were up 128 percent year-over-year.

Earlier this month, ACT projected full-year 2010 Class 8 production to come in at about 154,500 units for a 31 percent gain over a weak 2009 and remains below normal replacement demand. The firm added that it expects demand to continue over the next two years, calling for 2012 and 2013 production to top 300,000 units. On the trailer side, ACT expects production to hit annual growth rates north of 50 percent in 2010 and 2011 compared to a weak 2009.

In a recent interview with LM, Vieth said that “all the stars are aligning” when it comes to Class 8 demand and the current environment.

As 2010 progressed, Vieth said there was a continued shrinkage of Class 8 fleets, with fewer Class 8 trucks on the road at the end of 2010 than there were at the beginning of 2010.

“We had growing freight volume throughout 2010, especially in the first half of the year,” said Vieth. “With freight growing and the tractor supply falling, trucker profitability rose. And used truck prices went up throughout the year. In December 2009, the average used truck price was roughly $35,000-to-$36,000, and at the end of 2010 that price was more than $43,000.”

ACT also reported this week that the unit volume of sales of used heavy-duty (Class 8) commercial vehicles increased 21 percent in December over November.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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