ACT Research: CV Supply Constraints and Inflationary Ramifications Remain Front-and-Center

According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, the front-and-center concerns of the commercial vehicle industry at the moment are supply-chain constraints, as well as the inflationary ramifications that flow from them.

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

ACT Research: CV Supply Constraints and Inflationary Ramifications Remain Front-and-Center“In addition to the front-and-center supply-chain constraints, ACT also remains focused on key industry demand drivers,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “The Cass Shipments Index has been on an upward track for almost a year and a half, which is no surprise, given the shift in consumer spending from services to goods during the pandemic.” Vieth explained further, “The nationwide focus on the supply-chain in the business press and the general media is unprecedented. And most of the links in supply-chain nodes from ports to factories to distribution centers to retailers and households are trucks and trailers.”

Vieth continued by explaining some of those demand-side factors, “Spot freight rates for dry vans, flatbeds, and reefers reached highs in September. Higher diesel prices enhance the value proposition of today’s fuel-efficient new trucks, as fuel savings translate into bigger ROI numbers - especially for long-distance hauls.” Regarding drivers, he noted, “The driver shortage is a perennial issue for fleets and operators. Current ultra-tight labor market conditions have fleets competing fiercely for drivers. Offering a new truck, spec’d with state-of-the-art technology for driver safety, ease, and comfort, is a factor that helps driver recruitment and retention.”

Vieth concluded by sharing some thoughts about ACT’s forecasts, “Reviewing forecast risks, the two most visible and worrisome unknowns in the near term are 1) ongoing supply challenges for OEMs and suppliers impacting industry production, and 2) the threat posed by COVID, especially if holiday gatherings are a catalyst for another wave. We also note rising risks in China, from the financial risks of over-leveraged real estate, to rolling power outages, to geopolitical issues like environmental policy and increasing tensions with Taiwan.”

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 66th Seminar is scheduled for February 22-24, 2022. Focused on the continuous evolution and advancement of autonomous and powertrain technologies in the transportation and commercial vehicle markets, OUTLOOK Seminar 66 will feature key industry leaders such as Bryan Bezold of Ford, Matt Hardin from Transplace, and Robert Brown of TuSimple. For information about OUTLOOK Seminar 66, as it becomes available, click here

ACT’s commercial electric vehicle study, Charging Forward: 2020-2024 BEV & FCEV Forecast & Analysis, was published on March 31, 2021, after months of extensive research. Utilizing industry expertise and analysis, as well as the input from a comprehensive list of key industry study participants, ACT Research has developed a critical guide for battery electric and fuel cell electric unit build and sales forecasts over the next two decades. With coverage of Classes 4-8 commercial vehicles, ACT has identified 14 market subsegments and more than 20 application types; this one-of-a-kind report is a must-have for those investing or investigating electric power opportunities. To learn more or to purchase this report, click here

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