Truck Demand Strong Going Into New Year, Says ACT

17 December 2020

According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Report, with the beginning of COVID vaccine distribution, the likelihood of Congressional assistance for those still suffering from COVID’s impact, and healthy freight rates, commercial vehicle demand remains strongly positioned heading into 2021.

“With vaccine distribution starting this week and the likelihood that Congress will finally provide assistance to those left in COVID’s wake, we are more optimistic that we are nearing the end of the pandemic tunnel and are on the cusp of a better 2021,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s president and senior analyst. “Of course, with Americans now dying at a 100,000 per-month clip, these positive developments are tinged with the recognition that considerable misery remains.

“Additionally, with freight rates in record territory since September boosting profits and a freight-heavy 2021 economic outlook, the rule of thumb oft-heard at ACT, ‘truckers buy trucks when they make money,’ again passes the test.”

By commercial vehicle segment, Vieth said that “it seems that everyone is ordering in the Class 8 segment, but the tractor market is rising at a considerably more rapid clip, against easier year-ago comparisons, than the truck market. Despite the uptick in orders and build, we do caution that the growing steel shortage and potential for COVID to still wreak havoc on the supply chain could impact build rates into early 2021.”

Regarding the medium-duty segment, Vieth noted, “order performance was mixed across the three market components that ACT tracks, with truck orders benefitting from e-commerce demand, RVs enjoying a pandemic-related boost, but social distancing continuing to weigh on school bus orders.”

ACT Research is a global publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net

See the January issue of Diesel Progress for a more complete look at the commercial truck market in 2021 by ACT’s Kenny Vieth. To subscribe, click here.

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