Six of the top 12 order months on record have occurred in the first eight months of this year and August’s order intake broke the previous record-high set just a month earlier by 300 trucks.
August orders were up 153 percent year-over-year and North American Class 8 orders for the past 12 months have now totaled 477,000 units.
“The good news is, it appears the supplier shortage issues that significantly slowed production earlier this year, have been largely abated for now. However, the supply chain remains tight, and fleets and dealers continue to place large orders to lock down build slots in 2019,” says Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Fleets are ordering early and often and orders this plentiful indicate fleets are highly confident the flourishing freight market will persist for a while. Current economic and manufacturing data point to a strong start to 2019. FTR does expect some easing to occur in the second half of next year.”
Carriers are pressing to get enough trucks on the road to handle freight growth while a booming economy and healthy manufacturing sector are stretching the logistics system to the limit, Ake says. In some markets, goods are moving slower due to supply chain gridlocks, calling for even more trucks to deliver goods, he adds.
“Super-strong orders in June and July are likely pulling large fleet orders ahead in the schedule, as truckers race to reserve build slots in a market where demand is running well above capacity,” adds Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst.