According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, supply-chain difficulties, COVID, inflation, high energy prices, robust freight and rates, and public policy continue to be the dominant issues shaping the heavy-duty outlook.
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.
“Class 8 demand remains strong, but the ability of manufacturers to respond to that demand continues to be constrained,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “Higher prices are the inevitable result, and that will remain the case through much of 2022. We believe these conditions will gradually be alleviated, but risks will be higher than usual for a wide set of possible outcomes around our base case.” Vieth further noted, “Freight market equilibrium, the supply-demand balance between equipment and drivers and freight volumes, probably won’t be achieved until the fourth quarter of next year.”
About the impact of COVID variants in particular on ACT’s commercial vehicle forecasts, he explained, “The single most important new development impacting, and adding risk to, the near-term heavy-duty forecast has been the global spread of the new COVID Omicron variant. As important as the disease itself is the reaction of civil authorities and the public-at-large to Omicron – as well as to future variants that may crop up in 2022 and beyond.” Vieth concluded, “We can hope that lessons learned from the experience of the last two years would at least aid with directional guidance, on a macro and micro basis. For our forecasts, one lesson is that demand for goods holds up fairly well during a pandemic compared to services, especially if those services are public-facing. Sectors closely associated with activity in goods production and distribution (manufacturing, construction, mining, agriculture, wholesale and retail) are transportation-intensive, and generally trucking-intensive. So by its very nature, demand for heavy trucks has a natural, in-built COVID immunity.”
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 from Ford, Transplace, TuSimple, and the EPA, with more being added to the agenda. February’s event features three panels (US Economics, Trucker & Transportation, and Autonomous Ecosystem), as well as a fireside chat with the EPA, discussions about fleet decarbonization, electric vehicle forecasts, and reviews of freight/transportation, Class 8, Classes 5-7, the US used truck and new US trailer markets. For information about OUTLOOK Seminar 66, 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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