August Class 8 Truck Orders Surge to Highest Level Since February

August Class 8 truck orders reach highest level since February

Started up the net In August, 19,000 Class 8 trucks were bought, which is 9% less than the same month last year. But this was the best book I’ve read in the last six months.

In September, the 2024 order season is likely to pick up, which will lead to more bookings. But it’s not clear if the pent-up demand from the outbreak and the two years of supply problems that followed would affect the number of new sales.

Analyzing Market Strength Amid Regulatory Changes

Eric Starks, chairman of FTR Transportation Intelligence, stated that the year-over-year comparisons will appear unfavorable through November despite the increase in order activity, owing to the exceptional order activity observed in the latter half of 2022.  The strength of the market can be better analyzed by focusing on the actual unit order levels in the near term, rather than the year-over-year change.

It’s not clear what will happen if orders are rushed to get around California’s requirement for cleaner, more expensive diesel cars.

End of Weak Order Season: Insights from Kenny Vieth, ACT Research

Kenny Vieth, ACT Research president and senior analyst, stated in a news release that August is the final month of the “weak order season” for Class 8, which spans four months starting in May. The 2023 build plan has been essentially filled since the end of Q1, which adds to the downward pressure.

Starks says that data from the month of August shows that teams are not hesitant to buy new gear, which is good news for the second half of the year.

According to statistics from FTR, there were 294,000 bookings for Class 8 airplanes in the 12 months before. 

Adjusting to Market Changes: Fleet and Owner-Operator Decisions

Since they couldn’t get new trucks until most of 2020 and 2021, fleets kept their cars for longer than the normal four to five years. Now that orders are being filled again, more used trucks with more miles on them are hitting retail stores and sales. As fleets adjust, this is bringing prices down.

Since the price of contract freight has gone down, many owner-operators are choosing to join big groups instead of keeping their DOT driving authority. Even so, there is still a steady flow of new one-person businesses.

Used Truck Market: Insights from Steve Tam, ACT Research Vice President

Steve Tam, ACT vice president, stated in an email to a logistics news site that although used truck values are softening, it is encouraging to witness an influx of new individuals joining the fleet. Retail sales in the data we see are improving from a volume perspective.

In July, Class 8 store sales dropped 7.8 percent.

Sales typically experience a decrease of one or two percentage points in July. Tam said in a news release Thursday that the decrease was in line with, but greater than, expectations. The total market volume, including auctions and wholesales, experienced a 28% decline in July compared to the previous month.

Yellow Freight Bankruptcy: Insights from Steve Tam, ACT Research Vice President

Retail sales were 19% higher in August 2022 than they were in July 2022 because people traded in their old cars. Due to Yellow Freight’s bankruptcy, there may be 14,000 more trucks, mostly day cabs, that can be bought. But Tam says that so far, the bankruptcy process has been well-organized, structured, and methodical.

He said that if all that equipment was dumped into inventory at one time, the result would conjure up images of a piranha feeding frenzy. This approach, although it is still in the early stages and there are no guarantees, is expected to minimize the negative impact on used equipment values.

Contact Lading Logistics for Comprehensive Logistics Solutions.

Overall, the preliminary net Class 8 truck orders reached 19,000 units in August, which is 9% below a year ago but the highest in six months. Lading Logistics is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest developments in the trucking industry. They offer a wide range of services, including:

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