TORONTO, Ont. — Canadian trucking industry profitability is strong, but demand for new Class 8 trucks remains flat, according to a new report from GE Capital.
GE’s Industry Research Monitor: Canada Truck Transportation, reported Canadian Class 8 truck orders were down 12% in 2013 compared to 2012. However, medium-duty demand was up, with net orders for Classes 5-7 trucks increasing 22% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2013.
GE cited a recent survey from Transport Capital Partners that indicated 66% of truckload carriers surveyed expect rates and volumes to increase over the next 12 months.
GE expects to see Canadian GDP growth rise to 2% in 2014, boosted in part by stronger European demand for exports thanks to Canada’s new free trade agreement. The company also noted the unemployment rate is falling and the purchasing manager’s index is increasing, which bodes well for freight haulers.
In December, the leading indicator for trucking industry profitability reached its highest level in three years, according to GE Capital.
But one area of concern for trucking companies is the rising cost of diesel. The monthly average retail diesel price of $135.5/litre in December was the highest since December 2011 and 8% higher than a year ago.
The full report can be read here.