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ACT: Heavy-duty market demand outrunning supplies

April 26, 2021
Demand for commercial vehicles in North America is as good as it's been in the 35 years that ACT has been monitoring heavy-duty market conditions, according to ACT’s president and senior analyst.

The heavy-duty trucks’ business environment doesn’t get much better than this, according to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest.

The report, which combines proprietary ACT data and analysis from a wide variety of sources, paints a picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report is a quick look at transportation insights for fleet and trucking executives. It reviews top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy- and medium-duty segments, the U.S. trailer market, used truck sales information, and an overview of the U.S. macroeconomy.

“Demand for commercial vehicles in North America is about as good as we’ve seen in 35 years of monitoring heavy-duty market conditions,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “Times are so good that demand is far outrunning the industry’s ability to supply right now, and that will likely remain the case into the autumn and perhaps even through the winter… This would mark an unusual extension of peak demand for a period not impacted by an emissions-related prebuy.”

Regarding the COVD impact on the trucking industry, Vieth noted: “The roller coaster ride down and up of the COVID cycle was about the same as in the Great Recession, but the duration of the ride is happening in only 25% of the elapsed time. COVID triggered a super-compressed cycle, resulting in incredible pressure on supply chains to respond – and on a synchronized global level.”

Vieth also noted that when considering COVID-era policies, such as workplace safety measures, wearing PPE, worker absenteeism, and government and employer activity restrictions, “it’s amazing that the bullwhip effect hasn’t been even tougher.”

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