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Preliminary September Class 8 order data continue to show strong year

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Preliminary data for orders of Class 8 trucks in September didn’t set a record such as has been the case several times in 2018, but nevertheless the numbers continue to support the fact that 2018 likely will continue to be a banner year.

That according to data released this week by the two organizations that gather and analyze the information — ACT Research and FTR.

ACT said preliminary net order data show the industry booked 42,800 units in September, falling moderately after back-to-back record order months.

FTR reports preliminary North American Class 8 orders for September came in at 42,300 units for the month.

“Preliminary data indicate that in September, North American Class 8 orders were down 19 percent from August, but up 90 percent compared to year-ago September,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “Through year-to-date September, Class 8 orders have totaled 397,200 units, an average monthly order intake of 44,100 units/month. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the past three months’ orders represent the three strongest order months in history, with the past three months’ Class 8 orders climbing to 711,000 units SAAR. Reaching back to June, on a seasonally adjusted basis the past four months are four of the five strongest in history.”

FTR said September Class 8 order activity was the 10th best month ever, but with most of 2018 hitting all-time highs, was only the 5th highest monthly volume this year.

Sturdy freight growth continues to strain industry capacity and fleets are placing orders a year out to secure new truck availability throughout 2019.  North American Class 8 orders for the past 12 months have now totaled 497,000 units, FTR said.

“The pressure is on fleets to add capacity to keep up with a robust freight market,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “The economy is surging right now, putting stress on shippers to find trucks to deliver goods on time. Fleets don’t want to be stuck in the same situation next year, so they are placing huge orders for trucks well ahead of time.

“The focus now turns to the supply chain. Parts and component suppliers have struggled to keep pace with the growing OEM builds this year. Demand, as indicated by the surge in orders, will be even stronger next year. It is uncertain if suppliers can meet this challenge, as they compete for workers and materials in a vibrant economy.”

Both organizations will report final numbers later in October.

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NACV to feature 3 Solutions Theaters to focusing on trucking industry needs

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Leading truck and trailer manufacturers and commercial vehicle parts and components suppliers will demonstrate their latest product offerings during the NACV Show 2019, taking place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta from October 28-31. The NACV Show 2021 will be held in Atlanta from September 27-30, 2021. (Courtesy: NACV)

ATLANTA — The North American Commercial Vehicle Show (NACV Show), the biennial B2B trucking industry event focusing on the needs of fleet owners, managers and decision makers, said Thursday that it will feature three new Solutions Theaters to showcase topical industry discussions on the show floor.

The show organizers have partnered with leading industry publications to secure thought leaders and industry visionaries who will discuss a range of topics.

All Solutions Theaters’ sessions are free for NACV Show 2019 registered attendees.

“We expect the discussions that take place in our three Solutions Theaters will inform and empower all industry professionals who attend NACV Show 2019,” said Carmen Diaz, show manager for the NACV Show. “We are excited to present top industry leaders and visionaries during our on-floor education sessions to discuss both the challenges and opportunities confronting today’s fleet professionals.”

Following is an overview of some of the NACV Show 2019 on-floor education sessions:

Two panel discussions will take place in the Solutions Theater located in Hall A.

The first panel is entitled “Finding the Data Driven Solutions That Work for You,” which will focus on how fleet owners can identify leading service challenges. Panel participants will provide insight into collecting and organizing the right data to help overcome these challenges. The second panel is entitled “How to Use Data to Improve Service Operations” that will highlight how to best utilize data — from fault code data to VMRS records — to reduce fleet downtime to improve operations.

Also, in the Hall A Solutions Theater, three educational topics will be discussed, including a Class 8 panel discussion, a medium duty panel discussion and “Last Mile – Autonomous Delivery Startups” discussion.

Two panel discussions will take place in the Solutions Theaters located in Hall B, including “Vetting Technology” and “Best use of Smart Technology.” Three educational sessions will also take place in the Solutions Theaters located in Hall B, including “Transitioning from AOBRDs to ELDs,” “Driver Retention” and “Rapid Pace of Technology Trucking.”

The show organizers will announce additional conference and educational programming topics prior to the event, which takes place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta from October 28-31.

The North American Commercial Vehicle Show is a B2B exhibition focused on fleet decision makers and key influencers in the commercial vehicle industry.

 

 

 

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FTR March Shippers Conditions Index shows positive momentum

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An FTR official said an area to watch is diesel prices, which could move up in the fourth quarter. (The Trucker file photo)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — FTR’s March Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) rose two full points from February to a reading of 2.8 reflecting a continued easing of truckload and intermodal rates.  The outlook is for improved shipper conditions through 2019.

However, some key areas to watch are fuel price increases and capacity utilization in trucking which can result in added costs for shippers, according to Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR.

“Shippers are benefiting from relatively stable fuel prices and weaker trucking capacity utilization than they experienced in 2018. But both of those metrics are expected to tighten up as the year progresses,” Tranausky said. “Diesel prices could move up in the fourth quarter ahead of the IMO 2020 fuel mandate, which could pressure fuel surcharges higher late in 2019.”

The May issue of FTR’s Shippers Update, published May 8, 2019, details the factors affecting the March Shippers Conditions Index. Also included is data and analysis on load volumes, the capacity environment, rates, costs, and the truck driver situation.

The Shippers Conditions Index tracks the changes representing four major conditions in the U.S. full-load freight market. These conditions include freight demand, freight rates, fleet capacity, and fuel price. The individual metrics are combined into a single index that tracks the market conditions that influence the shippers’ freight transport environment. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. A negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. The index tells you the industry’s health at a glance. In life, running a fever is an indication of a health problem. It may not tell you exactly what’s wrong, but it alerts you to look deeper. Similarly, a reading well below zero on the FTR Trucking Conditions Index warns you of a problem…and readings high above zero spell opportunity. Readings near zero are consistent with a neutral operating environment. Double digit readings (both up or down) are warning signs for significant operating changes.

 

 

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Heartland Express opens new, remodeled terminals in Colorado, California

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The Heartland Express Driver Appreciation Team performed at the ribbon cutting for the new terminal in Frederick, Colorado. (Courtesy: HEARTLAND EXPRESS)

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa — Heartland Express has opened a new terminal at Frederick, Colorado, and a remodeled terminal in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

Just north of the Denver metro area, the Colorado facility offers a service shop with a truck wash, fully covered 24-hour fuel island and service lanes.

The terminal features a driver lounge with 24-hour access and amenities that include restrooms with private walk-in showers and laundry room with full size washer/dryer units. Other comforts include sofas and recliner chairs, table seating, ice machine, coffee, and a large screen TV for entertainment.

An RFID software system was installed for driver security and over five acres of parking with industrial Wi-Fi network available site wide.

The opening of the Frederick terminal occurred shortly after the grand re-opening of the newly remodeled Southern California facility in Rancho Cucamonga.

This 20-acre facility includes all of the amenities available in Frederick and utilizes solar power. Rancho Cucamonga is also one of 12 company locations that hosts driver orientation and soon we look forward to driver orientation at the Frederick facility.

“I’m extremely proud of these new terminals and what we can offer to our drivers. We’ve invested significant time, capital, and environmentally conscious resources into these provisions and look forward to seeing growth of our market position in both locations respectively,” said Heartland Express CEO, Mike Gerdin. “These grand openings are just the start of great new things to come from Heartland. Including the completion of these two terminal projects, we are spending an estimated $40-50 million on terminal related capital projects during 2019.  These terminal projects are centered around upgrades, remodels, expansions and terminal amenities for the comfort and support of our drivers, including additions of truck wash facilities at certain locations. Our desire is to offer state of the art amenities to our drivers while they are away from home.

The Frederick terminal is located at 9040 Bruin Blvd. The Rancho Cucamonga terminal is located at8566 Pecan Ave.

Heartland Express is an irregular route truckload carrier based in North Liberty, Iowa, serving customers with shipping lanes throughout the United States. Heartland focuses on medium to short haul regional freight, offering shippers industry leading on-time service so they can achieve their strategic goals for their customers.

For more information, visit www.heartlandexpress.com.

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