Day three of ACT Research’s semi-annual Outlook Seminar featured two panel discussions, the first included three fleet executives, while the second covered freight and logistic topics.
Seminar attendees were treated to some fantastic insights from trucker panelists Darrel Harris, EVP of Strategic Initiatives for Yellow, Stephen Voorhees, VP of Finance & Accounting with Big G Express, and Jim Franck, President of National Carriers. Moderator and ACT Research Vice President, Steve Tam commented, “Chief among these insights was their collective outlook for the freight environment in 2021. While top line revenue is expected to increase from 2020, the higher costs of operating in a capacity constrained, post-COVID environment will keep pressure on profit margins, which will likely increase, but not to the same degree as revenue. Costs are going up across the board, for everything from new trucks and trailers to fuel, driver compensation, insurance, etc.”
He added, “Trucker panelists also shared their views on the electrification of heavy commercial vehicles in their specific operating environments. The panelists felt that the current capabilities of the technology were not up to the multiple challenges their fleets would present. Rather than being innovators or even early adopters, they prefer to keep an eye on developments, patient to wait until the technological capabilities catch their operational needs, before they are ready to test the waters.”
Before the seminar closed, ACT’s Vice President and Senior Analyst, Tim Denoyer, moderated a freight and logistics panel, featuring Eric Fuller, President & CEO of U.S. Xpress, Jason Miller, Associate Professor at Michigan State University, and Lance Riegle, VP of Indiana Sales/Partner for Marvin Johnson & Associates. According to Denoyer, “The freight and logistics panel focused on the strong freight volume environment, with potential to last longer than the historical two-year freight growth cycles with immense restock demand, further recovery to come in manufacturing and housing and potential for an infrastructure package. The panelists also discussed secular factors, including electric, fuel cell and autonomous trucks, and concluded that in Class 8 long-haul applications, autonomous may be the one to arrive first.”
ACT Research holds two seminars per year for the benefit of its N.A. CV OUTLOOK subscribers. The N.A. CV OUTLOOK is a robust report that forecasts the future of the industry, looking at the next 1-5 years, with the objective of giving OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, and investment firms the information needed to plan accordingly for what is to come. The report provides a complete overview of the North American markets, as well as takes a deep dive into relevant, current market activity to highlight orders, production, and backlogs, shedding light on the forecast. Information included in this report covers forecasts and current market conditions for medium and heavy-duty trucks/tractors, and trailers, the macroeconomies of the US, Canada, and Mexico, publicly-traded carrier information, oil and fuel price impacts, freight and intermodal considerations, and regulatory environment impacts.
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 65th Seminar is scheduled for August 24-26, 2021. Look for more details on this event over the coming months and save the date for August’s event. When details are available, they may be found at www.actresearch.net/seminar65