COLUMBUS, Ind. – Transportation analyst firm ACT September 13 estimated preliminary U.S. net trailer orders for August 2016 at 15,300 units. The final August volumes will be available later this month, ACT reported.
In addition, ACT’s freight volume index rose faster than the capacity index in August, indicating a “nice change,” the firm reported, suggesting that “if conditions are not exactly improving at this point, they have at least stopped getting worse.”
“Prior to May, 14 of the preceding 15 ‘net capacity’ readings were negative,” ACT said.
“[Net trailer order] volume rebounded in August after a dramatically weak July,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research. “While the 50 percent month-to-month gain for the industry was certainly welcome news, that progress is somewhat tempered by the year-to-year performance: Net orders are down almost 38 percent versus August 2015. While normal seasonal patterns indicate August as a fairly modest order month, that year-to-year performance implies caution by fleets regarding their investment commitments, and likely sets the industry up for a restrained 2016/17 order season. Initial reports also indicated higher cancellation activity in August, a further indication of shifting fleet intentions.”
Regarding freight, the big driver of the positive “net capacity” outcome in August, ACT reported, was a sharp spike upward in the freight volume component of the index.
“Just as freight growth and capacity additions showed weakness in July, strength in both metrics in August are related to seasonality: Freight starts moving in August following plant shutdowns in July even as truckers come back to work following their own vacations,” the report stated.
For more information on ACT, visit www.actresearch.net.
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