Class 8 order patterns continue to show strong momentum

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Data issued this week by freight transportation forecasting firm FTR and publisher of new and used commercial vehicle (CV) industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market ACT Research shows continued gains in Class 8 net orders.

In its preliminary North American Class 8 net orders for September, FTR said 22,100 units were ordered, which marks a 7% gain over August and a 62% annual gain. FTR said this level of order volume met its expectations, with the market continuing to build momentum into the fall order season. And it added that Canada-based orders were “robust” with fleets seeing the benefits of a strong economy.

Over the last 12 months, FTR said North American Class 8 orders are at a cumulative 239,000 units.

“The recovery in the Class 8 market is building, and we saw that with the orders through the summer,” said FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicals Don Ake in a statement. “Order totals never got that low and followed cyclical trends.  This is a healthy, growing truck market, which is in excellent position for greater expansion in 2018.  Class 8 order rates are expected to jump in Q4. Stronger freight growth generated by a more vibrant U.S. economy will spur demand for additional trucks next year.  Factor in the loss of productivity from the ELDs, and fleets will have to expand capacity to haul the available freight.”

September Class 8 data from ACT Research was in line with FTR’s findings.

The firm reported that preliminary North American Class 8 orders jumped on an actual and seasonally-adjusted basis in August, marking the fourth straight month of order gains since a May decline while representing what ACT called a meaningful jump on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

“For the month, orders rose 63% from easy year-ago comps to 22,600 units,” said ACT President Kenny Vieth in a statement. “With a generous factor bestowed on what is typically the second weakest order month of the year, seasonal adjustment boosts September’s order performance to its highest level in over two years at 26,200 units.” 

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