Commercial truck orders end 2020 in ‘near-record’ territory: ACT Research

by Today's Trucking

COLUMBUS, Ind. – Classes 5-8 truck orders closed 2020 in “near-record” territory, according to preliminary December data from ACT Research.

Class 8 orders totaled 50,900 units, down 2% from November but up 153% year-over-year, marking the fourth best month ever, ACT reported. Classes 5-7 orders came in at 35,100 units, up 28% from November and bettering December 2019 orders by 73%. That marks the second best month in history for medium-duty orders.

“The pandemic-impacted economy continues to play into the hands of trucking, as consumers continue to substitute spending on services with spending on goods, even as the manufacturing sector begins to ramp,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst.

(Photo: John G. Smith)

“Simultaneously, the driver supply remains constrained and that supply-demand imbalance is reflected in rate data. With strong freight volumes, drivers in short supply, rates surging and carrier profits certain to follow, the precise recipe for surging new vehicle demand, which continued in December, is created.”

Regarding the medium-duty market, Vieth added, “There is a symbiotic relationship between heavy-duty freight rates and medium-duty demand. Clearly, the shift in consumer spending from experiences to goods has been good for the providers of local trucking services as e-commerce has grown by leaps and bounds during the pandemic.”

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