Class 8 truck orders show continued strength

As has been the case in recent months demand for Class 8 trucks continues to surge. This was reflected in data released this week by ACT Research, a provider of data and analysis for trucks and other commercial vehicles, and freight transportation consulting firm FTR Associates.

By ·

As has been the case in recent months demand for Class 8 trucks continues to surge.

This was reflected in data released this week by ACT Research, a provider of data and analysis for trucks and other commercial vehicles, and freight transportation consulting firm FTR Associates.

ACT said that December preliminary net orders of heavy-duty Class 8 vehicles for North American markets were 25,500 units, which is up 115 percent over December 2009.

“The industry closed 2010 with a string of three strong months of net orders,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst, in a statement. “With nearly 71,000 orders booked, the fourth quarter was the best quarter for Class 8 vehicles since the second quarter of 2006. The ramp up in demand is consistent with the upcycle we have been forecasting for over a year and confirms production levels will increase significantly in 2011.”

In a recent interview with LM, Vieth said that based on ACT’s modeling and anecdotal evidence from truckers, it seems like the supply-demand imbalance, which has been tilted away from truckers for the last four years, has gone back to truckers, and it is not abating.

At current levels, Vieth said truck and trailer production is positioned to ramp up as fast as demand is. And with capacity still tight and current fleets aging in conjunction with a potential stretch of increased truckload earnings there could be some staying power for future truck production, he said.

According to FTR data, December preliminary net orders of heavy-duty Class 8 vehicles for major North American OEM’s was 25,247, down 3 percent from November. FTR said that net order activity for the fourth quarter of 2010, which includes the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, came in at an annualized rate of 280,324 units.

“Order activity for December came in on the high side of expectations and supports our view that production and sales will continue to accelerate during 2011,” said FTR president Eric Starks in a statement. “Freight demand will need to remain solid in early 2011 to maintain this strong order activity for Class 8 units.  Additionally, other issues like the growing driver shortage as the economy improves do place a drag on fleets’ ability to add capacity.  The current order activity is primarily for units to replace aging trucks.”

Starks told LM that while net orders remain below replacement levels, they are heading in the right direction.

“If you look at the last 12 months, we are slightly above the 12 month average,” said Starks, “but it is not substantial. As we get to that time in the next few months where carriers start making decisions on orders for next year, we need to get to that next stage where we see some [continued] healthy order activity.”


About the Author

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. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
eBook: Why Multi-Tier Supplier Collaboration is More Important Now
Explore the benefits of supplier collaboration including sharing demand forecasts, faster reactions to demand or capacity changes and well-coordinated product launches.
Download Today!
From the September 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
While Amazon’s recent bid to purchase Whole Foods made mainstream headlines, the e-commerce giant will still need to adhere to time-tested realities. Any way you slice it, the integrated U.S. cold chain requires optimized service from existing ports, 3PLs, cold storage warehousing, transportation providers and high-value vendors.
Improving 3PL Management: Glanbia Adds Muscle to Logistics
Why Retail Supply Chain Transformations Fail - and how to get it right
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
EDITORS' PICKS
26th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Transportation at Digital Speed
While a majority of companies strongly agree that transportation is a strategically important...
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...

2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...