The historically strong truck order market has shown no sign of slowing down, as preliminary June numbers from both FTR and ACT Research show another record-setting month in June.
FTR has preliminary North American Class 8 orders for June at 41,800 units, making it the highest June ever recorded, 140% above a year ago. North American Class 8 orders have now exceeded 40,000 units in four of the six months in 2018. Fleets are ordering such large numbers of trucks that the OEM production cannot keep up with demand due to component shortfalls, FTR noted. The backlogs are being moved out further, which is pushing fleets to get orders in sooner rather than later so they can find a build slot. North American Class 8 orders for the past twelve months have now totaled 411,000 units.
“There is an enormous demand for trucks due to burgeoning freight growth and extremely tight industry capacity,” Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles, commented. “However, supply is severely constrained because OEM suppliers cannot provide the needed parts and components required to build more trucks fast enough. This bottleneck is causing fleets to get more orders in the backlog in hopes of getting more trucks as soon as they are available.
“Fleets are desperate for more equipment, but trucks are in short supply due to the supplier constraints. This is creating a surge in orders as fleets react to this unusual situation. If OEMs were producing at capacity, the truck build this year could have been as high as 360,000 units. Orders for the last twelve months have now reached 411,000, so there are some excess orders in the backlog.”
Preliminary North America Class 8 net order data from ACT Research, meanwhile, showed that the industry booked 42,200 units in June, exceeding 40,000 units for the fourth time in six months.
“Preliminary net order data indicate that demand for Class 8 trucks continued to be strong in June, improving 133% compared to year-ago June orders,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “As June is typically a weak order month, the robust actual order volume boosts June’s seasonally adjusted volume to the best of the cycle and second best of all time at 48,200 units. Through year-to-date June, Class 8 orders have been booked at a 492k seasonally adjusted annual rate.”
“Solid medium-duty activity continued in June, if below levels seen through Q1,” said Vieth. “For the month, preliminary NA Classes 5-7 net orders rose 23% year-over-year, to 26,400 units. With a favorable boost from seasonality, June’s seasonally adjusted order volume jumped to 29,100 units, bringing Classes 5-7 orders booked through the first half of 2018 to a 320k SAAR.”