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Trucking news: ACT data says August commercial vehicle orders hang tough

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
September 21, 2011

Data from ACT Research, a provider of data and analysis for trucks and other commercial vehicles, showed that commercial vehicle orders did fairly well in August in light of the increasing amount of economic turmoil in recent weeks.

LM reported last week that in ACT’s preliminary reading of the North American medium and heavy-duty vehicle markets, North American Class 8 order hit 21,200 units, which was ahead of the preliminary tally of 20,800 units.

August is up 13 percent improvement over July’s 18,700 orders and 71 percent improvement over July 2010’s 12,400 orders.

“The events that caused confidence to wane are still in play and are likely to haunt the economy in coming quarters” stated Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT, in a statement. “However, there was not any perceptible impact on the front-end of the commercial vehicle demand continuum. Medium duty and heavy duty vehicle orders rose above expectations during the month and cancellations remained modest.”

ACT President and Senior Analyst Kenny Vieth told LM in a recent interview that ACT had some early concerns about how the August numbers would turn out due to political turmoil and faltering consumer confidence numbers, among other things.

“We were a little bit leery as to how things would look,” said Vieth. “July and August represent the two weakest order months of the year. The fact that we approached 21,000 orders in August, given the backdrop of [negative] headlines made these numbers a pleasant surprise.”

The underlying fundamentals in the marketplace remain strong, said Vieth, explaining that there is more freight relative to trucks on the road. Pricing remains healthy, and that was reflected in the second quarter as carriers reported strong profit margins.

Another factor influencing higher orders is that used equipment prices are continuing to rise, said Vieth.

“There is enough freight out there and truckers are making money hauling that freight,” he said.  “Used asset evaluations are strong so it is facilitating a continued ability to replace older trucks with newer trucks.

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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