Strong freight rates driving demand for new commercial vehicles, ACT analysts say

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Truck on Highway in Winter
According to a recent report from ACT Research, strong freight rates are driving an increased demand for commercial vehicles. Analysts predict strong profits for carriers in 2021 and 2022.

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The current strong demand for new commercial vehicles is a direct result of strength in freight rates, according to ACT Research’s latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook.

According to Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst, “This year started with a whimper, and in spite of the pandemic pause in Q2, is going out with a bang,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst for ACT. “Comparing October’s order rate to 12-month order totals generates some impressive comparisons and highlights the across-the-board order surge that began in September. Additionally, on a preliminary basis, November orders are at or above recent levels.”

ACT’s report forecasts the future of the industry, looking at the next one to five years, with the objective of giving OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, and investment firms the information needed to plan for future demand. The report provides a complete overview of the North American markets and takes a deep dive into relevant, current market activity to highlight orders, production and backlogs. Information included in the report covers forecasts and current market conditions for medium- and heavy-duty trucks/tractors and trailers; the macroeconomies of the U.S., Canada and Mexico; publicly traded carrier information; oil and fuel price impacts; freight and intermodal considerations; and regulatory environment impacts.

“An ACT-favorite axiom is, ‘Fleets buy equipment when they make money,’ and truckers are going to make a lot of money in 2021,” Vieth predicted.

“A strong freight pipeline and structural and regulatory challenges surrounding driver recruiting suggest an unprecedented level of intractability in the supply-demand balance. Barring an exogenous event, the data suggest strong carrier profits are likely to extend through 2021 and well into 2022,” he explained.

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