ACT: March CV Data Transitional, Full COVID-19 Impact Not Visible in Data



According to the latest ACT Research State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Report, truck transportation showed relatively strong performance on restocking activity into the end of March, making the month’s data largely transitional, rather than representative of activity expected in coming months.

“The most obvious signs that the pandemic is starting to impact data can be found in March’s Class 8 orders and cancellations,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s president and senior analyst. “Deteriorating new order activity and meaningfully higher cancellations dropped Class 8 net orders to their lowest level in over 10 years.”

Speaking about the heavy-duty market, Vieth said, “In addition to the fall of Class 8 net orders, cancellations rose to an 18-month high and with the freight surge subsiding, freight rates fell sharply into early April.” He continued, “Added to the cliff-like decline in economic activity over the past six weeks, there is nothing to suggest any near-term improvement in order conditions.”

Regarding the medium-duty markets,Vieth commented, “Similar to Class 8, medium-duty orders and somewhat elevated cancellations are the only places to find clues in March of the COVID-19 impact. Net orders were down at about half the Class 8 rate, and like Class 8, the pandemic hits a medium-duty market sporting very large new vehicle inventories.”

Additionally, the report noted that ACT has created an easily accessible webpage to track noteworthy high frequency macroeconomic and transportation-specific market indicators.

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