Truck orders soften but supply chain pressure remains

Truck orders began to pull back in October despite strong economic activity overall, according to preliminary data from ACT Research analysts.

North America recorded 23,600 Class 8 orders during the month, while another 21,900 Class 5-7 orders added to the overall totals.

“Supply-side constraints continue to pressure new order activity,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst. “With backlogs stretching into the second half of 2022 and still no clear visibility on the easing of the ‘everything shortage’, modest October order results suggest the OEMs are taking a more cautious approach, so as not to extend the cycle of customer expectations management.”

“With critical economic and industry demand drivers at or near record levels, industry strength is exhibited in long backlog lead times rather than soft orders in October,” he added.

Key freight-generating economic sectors remain strong, and third-quarter results for publicly traded truckload carriers are reaching record net profits, Vieth explained.

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