ACT says September Class 8 orders up 37 percent

Recent data published by ACT Research, a provider of data and analysis for trucks and other commercial vehicles, indicates that net orders of heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicles—at 15,231—were up 37 percent year-over-year in September. This output follows a 15 percent annual bump in August.

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Recent data published by ACT Research, a provider of data and analysis for trucks and other commercial vehicles, indicates that net orders of heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicles—at 15,231—were up 37 percent year-over-year in September.

This output follows a 15 percent annual bump in August.

ACT said in its most recent edition of its State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles that seasonally-adjusted net orders for September were the second highest monthly total for the past two years.

“Not only was September the second best order month, the uptick in orders occurred in what is typically a below average month,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst, in a statement. “Apply September’s seasonal factor, and Class 8 net orders occurred at a nearly 200,000 unit annual rate. This level of orders is a continuation of the steady increase in demand we have seen building since early this year.”

In September ACT’s North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook called for full-year production of Class 8 vehicles to be up 26 percent—at roughly 150,000 vehicles—over 2009, with solid growth into 2011, too. ACT also said that commercial trailer production will increase by 47 percent this year.

“Based on our 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 we don’t see that abating,” said Vieth in an interview.

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.

Earlier this month, preliminary data recently released by freight transportation forecasting firm and consultancy FTR Associates indicated that September Class 8 truck total net orders for North American OEM’s at 14,872 units are up 21.6 percent over August and 38.8 percent year-over-year.

FTR officials said that net order activity for the six-month period, including September and U.S., Canada, and Mexico exports, equates to 163,100 on an annual basis.

In an interview with LM, FTR President Eric Starks said 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 healthy order activity in the next two months.”

September’s total net orders of 14,872 fell within FTR’s projected range of 10,000-to-15,000 units, according to Starks.

And he added that should orders not hit the 20,000 range in October and more in November, it is reflective of how many fleets are still being parked by carriers until signs of a recovering economy are more apparent and they are more comfortable adding capacity.

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

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