Accelerating economic activity has led FTR Associates to increase its estimates of the amount of truck freight that was moving at yearend 2009, as reported in the January edition of FTR’s North American Commercial Truck and Trailer Report. If sustained, the stronger freight picture will result in higher truck rates and better financial results for truckers in 2010 and higher truck and trailer sales in 2011, FTR says. Meanwhile, FTR forecasts that 2010 tractor sales will be affected by the new Environmental Protection Agency mandate, with higher sales in the first half and a second-half slowdown likely.
“Higher freight demand will cause the existing large overhang of surplus equipment to be worked down more quickly, translating into the potential for more units to be sold in 2011,” says Eric Starks, FTR president. “While freight demand will increase throughout 2010, actual build numbers for Class 8 vehicles will likely be higher in the first part of the year because of the late prebuy activity for vehicles with pre-2010 emissions engines. Our 2010 production forecast remains unchanged, but this demand for 2009 vehicles will pull ahead build to the first half of 2010 at a corresponding decline in second-half numbers.”