U.S. economy, truck market now ‘as good as it gets,’ says ACT analyst

U.S. economy, truck market now ‘as good as it gets,’ says ACT analyst
According to the latest North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook report, published by ACT Research, low inventories and backed-up ports have combined to create favorable conditions for the nation’s economy and the trucking industry.

COLUMBUS, Ind. — According to ACT Research’s latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook, the list of things to like — from the current economic, freight, and commercial vehicle demand perspectives — is long.

“From the freight perspective, spot rates continue to post new record levels and are currently inverted relative to contract rates, a clear signal that contract rates will continue to rise. Additionally, low business inventories and backed-up ports on both coasts have created a backlog of freight, providing excellent forward visibility for continued strong demand for freight services,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst.

ACT’s Outlook 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 what is to come. 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.

“From a commercial vehicle demand perspective, orders, from medium-duty trucks to heavy-duty tractors and trailers, remain elevated, and backlogs for tractors and van-type trailers, at current build rates, are beyond 12 months, meaning that overall backlog-to-build ratios extend well beyond traditional ranges,” Vieth said.

“Our song remains the same — the current business environment for heavy-duty trucks is about as good as any we have seen in 35 years of monitoring heavy-duty market conditions at ACT Research,” he concluded.

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