Fleet growth to outstrip freight growth in 2019: ACT

by Truck News

COLUMBUS, Ind. – ACT Research says the commercial vehicle industry is maintaining its momentum, but could slow in the second half of 2019.

The company produced its Transportation Digest, reporting that the Class 8 truck market continued to extend all-time records for backlog and cumulative annual orders, while the medium-duty market ran like a “well-oiled machine” in 2018.

The report, however, warned that slower growth will occur next year.

“While the economy is fundamentally sound, with particular strength derived from consumers, there are a number of freight-related indicators suggesting slower economic output into the new year,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “Trade and tariffs were at the top of the list of unknowns in 2018. With slowing global growth reflecting that uncertainty, getting trade policy right is even more critical to long-term U.S. economic output.”

Regarding the Class 8 market, Vieth said, “Throughout 2018, market potential has been determined by suppliers and their capacity to get product from the factory. Undoubtedly, customers were eager to buy and we believe that situation will continue at least into the first half of 2019. We also see high likelihood for a transition ahead, as fleet growth outstrips freight growth. Our forecast includes a call for a change of direction in late 2019.”

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