FREE SUBSCRIPTION Includes: The Advisor Daily eBlast + Exclusive Content + Professional Network Membership: JOIN NOW LOGIN
Skip Navigation LinksHome / News / Read News


ACT Research: Net Class 8 Orders Nearing ‘Best Ever’ Status

April 19, 2021, 07:18 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Report, net Class 8 orders booked during the past six months were surpassed only by the six-month period ending October 2018, so not quite as good as it gets yet, but awfully close.

“Unlike that October 2018 period, where the seeds of the cycle’s fall had already been planted with tariffs and trade wars, the economy is carrying considerable pent-up industrial and consumer demand with stimulus program(s) adding fuel to the fire,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s President and Senior Analyst. “ACT’s current expectation for GDP growth in 2021 is 6.4 percent. Owing to the composition of economic activity, ACT’s GDP-based freight proxy anticipates freight volumes jumping by 12.6 percent.”

Vieth noted, “That supplants 1984 as the best year on record, based on ACT’s freight composite methodology. While freight growth is expected to moderate, as consumer spending patterns begin to revert to more traditional levels of goods spending relative to services, both GDP and freight activity are expected to remain elevated.”

By commercial vehicle segment, Vieth commented, “With the economy growing in all the right places, freight rates and carrier profits are pushing into record territory. In response, Class 8 orders the past two quarters have driven rapid backlog growth. Stating the obvious, perhaps, the supply chain’s ability to respond will be the key determinant of commercial vehicle production in 2021.” Regarding the medium-duty segment, he noted, “While our Class 8 ‘best since’ comparisons go back to 2018, we have to go back to 2006 to find a comparable period for medium-duty demand.”

ACT’s State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 report provides a monthly look at the current production, sales, and general state of the on-road heavy and medium duty commercial vehicle markets in North America. It differentiates market indicators by Class 5, Classes 6-7 chassis and Class 8 trucks and tractors, detailing measures such as backlog, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders, and retail sales. Additionally, Class 5 and Classes 6-7 are segmented by trucks, buses, RVs, and step van configurations, while Class 8 is segmented by trucks and tractors with and without sleeper cabs.

Comments From Our Members

You must be an Equipment Finance Advisor member to post comments. Login or Join Now.