Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in December were 50,900 units, down 2% from November, but up 153% from December 2019, according to ACT Research. NA Classes 5-7 demand, with orders at 35,100 units, rose 28% sequentially and 73% compared with December 2019. The Classes 5-7 order volume represents a second-best-ever volume, while the Class 8 net order intake marks the fourth highest level in history. Complete industry data for December, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-January.
“The pandemic-impacted economy continues to play into the hands of trucking, as consumers continue to substitute spending on services with spending on goods, even as the manufacturing sector begins to ramp,” Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst of ACT Research, said. “Simultaneously, the driver supply remains constrained and that supply-demand imbalance is reflected in rate data. With strong freight volumes, drivers in short supply, rates surging and carrier profits certain to follow, the precise recipe for surging new vehicle demand, which continued in December, is created.”
Regarding the medium duty market, Vieth said, “There is a symbiotic relationship between heavy duty freight rates and medium duty demand. Clearly, the shift in consumer spending from experiences to goods has been good for the providers of local trucking services as e-commerce has grown by leaps and bounds during the pandemic.”
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