ACT Research: Freight-related Metrics Continue to Deteriorate

According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Report, the deterioration of some freight-related metrics that began in March continued through April and into early May.

ACT’s State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 report provides a monthly look at the current production, sales, and general state of the on-road heavy and medium duty commercial vehicle markets in North America. It differentiates market indicators by Class 5, Classes 6-7 chassis and Class 8 trucks and tractors, detailing measures such as backlog, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders, and retail sales. Additionally, Class 5 and Classes 6-7 are segmented by trucks, buses, RVs, and step van configurations, while Class 8 is segmented by trucks and tractors with and without sleeper cabs. This report includes a six-month industry build plan, backlog timing analysis, historical data from 1996 to the present in spreadsheet format, and a ready-to-use graph package. A first-look at preliminary net orders is also published in conjunction with this report.

Used 5.20.22 (1)

According to Eric Crawford, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst, “In addition to deteriorating freight-related metrics, there appears to be little relief from the three key macro-related themes of 2022: war in Ukraine, supply-chain disruptions, and inflation, which means market participants are increasingly weighing the risk of a recession.” He added, “That said, North American commercial vehicle markets continue to embody a balancing act between demand-driven optimism and supply-side realism: Supply-chain constraints continue to impact the industry’s ability to raise production levels to align with demand. As a result, backlogs remain long and order volumes remain constrained due to ‘within 12 months’ order reporting ground rules. Until build rates find additional traction, orders will largely mirror production levels.”

Regarding commercial vehicle segment production and orders, Crawford commented, “OEMs were able to raise their per-day production, albeit not to planned levels. Class 8 build was 8% below the industry plan, as supply-chain constraints abound, while more predictable Classes 5-7 build was only 1% below expectations. And with still-long backlogs and OEM reticence to extend those backlogs in the face of supply-chain uncertainties, and with spot rates beginning to roll over in March, order activity deteriorated in April, down from its heretofore generally sideways movement.”

ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.

ACT’s 67th Seminar is scheduled for August 23-25, 2022. The focus will be the potential impact of decarbonization and autonomous technology on commercial vehicles and on-highway transportation. Each event ACT shares its best-in-class data and forecast in presentations, as well as featuring guest speakers to dive into topics of interest for the benefit of attendees. The agenda includes key industry leaders, who will be announced at a later date. For more information about Seminar 67 Watts Under The Hood: Transportation Transformation, click here: https://www.actresearch.net/seminar-67/.

ACT Research recently completed POWER UP, a look at 7 global regions and more than 20 countries in a review of local regulations, infrastructure, and the impact on the adoption of battery and fuel cell electric commercial vehicles through 2040. This forecast is the first of its kind, a review of the decarbonization of commercial vehicles around the world. POWER UP is available now at https://www.actresearch.net/power-up/.

Additionally, ACT Research published an update to CHARGING FORWARD, a North American-centric battery and fuel cell electric vehicle adoption rate forecast, covering 23 vehicle applications, in Classes 4-8 commercial vehicles, through 2040. CHARGING FORWARD is considered by many industry leaders to be the apex of analysis and economic-based total cost of ownership modeling in the industry. And, it is now available for purchase at https://www.actresearch.net/electric-vehicles-charge/.

ACV Image for 5-26-22Currently, the team at ACT Research is engaged in a commercial autonomous vehicle multi-client study. Through this work, we have identified adoption rates and forecast for autonomous Classes 4-8 vehicles through 2040. On Thursday, May 26, ACT’s autonomous team will hold a virtual briefing and update about the study’s progress to date. More information about our Autonomous Commercial Vehicle Study and the upcoming briefing can be found here: https://www.actresearch.net/autonomous-cv/.

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