Supply and demand balance for Class 8 trucks continues free fall

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Updated Feb 21, 2016

dealership_lotThe capacity index rose faster than the freight index for the fifth consecutive month and the 11th time in the past 13 months in January, further throwing out of balance the supply and demand of Class 8 trucks.

“While this measure had been getting better (less unfavorable) in previous months, a clear fall-off in freight caused the index to deteriorate further in January,” says Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president, commercial vehicle sector.

The capacity index is an indicator of supply while the the freight index points to demand.

Fleets responding to ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index survey noted that the East Coast blizzard in January had a damaging effect on freight volumes.

At 18,200 units in January, North American Class 8 net orders were down 48 percent, the second lowest intake since mid-2012.

Earlier this month, FTR called truck orders “unusually volatile” in recent months, falling sharply in October and November, inching upwards in December and then sliding again in January. FTR’s Jonathan Starks, however, says steady freight demand should help keep truck orders stable throughout 2016, if not push them upwards in the coming months.

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected].