eNews • September 19, 2018
Promoting a Cost-Effective, Reliable and Competitive Transportation System

Class 8 truck orders continue at record pace

Net orders for North American Class 8 trucks hit another all-time high in August, surpassing the previous record set the month before by 300 units, according to the latest preliminary data from freight forecaster FTR Transportation Intelligence.

The 52,400 heavy-duty truck orders in August also represented a staggering 153 percent increase over the same month a year ago.

"Carriers continue to scramble to get enough trucks on the road to handle the robust freight growth," FTR said of the order activity, noting that six of the 12 highest order months ever have taken place in the first eight months of this year.

"The surging economy and vibrant manufacturing sector are stretching the logistics system to the limit," the firm added. "In some markets, goods are moving slower due to supply chain gridlocks, necessitating even more trucks to deliver goods."

The domestic U.S. truck market has seen demand outstrip available capacity for months now, causing prices to rise considerably, with some analysts labeling the current environment the tightest market since 2004, while others say it might be the tightest ever.

According to the American Trucking Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index, shipments hauled by U.S. operators grew 8.6 percent year-over-year in July, bringing year-to-date volumes up 8 percent compared with the same 2017 period, more than double the annual growth rate of 3.8 percent seen for all of 2017.

And according to the latest Cass Truckload Linehaul Index, which tracks pricing, domestic U.S. truckload rates jumped another 10.2 percent year-over-year in July, the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year gains and the fourth consecutive record-setting increase.

Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR, said supply chain issues that began in March and delayed delivery of parts and components and caused manufacturers to fall behind in fleet deliveries in April "have been largely abated for now."

"However, the supply chain remains tight, and fleets and dealers continue to place large orders to lock down build slots in 2019," said Ake. "Fleets are ordering early and often and orders this plentiful indicate fleets are highly confident the flourishing freight market will persist for a while."

"Current economic and manufacturing data point to a strong start to 2019," he added. "FTR does expect some easing to occur in the second half of next year."

Source: American Shipper

The Soy Transportation Coalition is comprised of thirteen state soybean boards, the American Soybean Association, and the United Soybean Board. The National Grain and Feed Association and the National Oilseed Processors Association serve as ex-officio members of the organization.

Soy Transportation Coalition
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Phone: (515) 727-0665 Fax (515) 251-8657
Email msteenhoek@soytransportation.org
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