FTR Report Says Class 8 Orders Hit Total Of 40,100 In September

FTR Transportation Intelligence released their latest report on the state of North America’s trucking industry, and found a huge spike in Class 8 orders in the region. The analytical firm says that this is a sign of companies in the industry, like Titan Transline, are recovering from the lockdown.

According to FTR, North American Class 8 orders went up to 40,100 in October 2020, which is the first time in 2 years that the number of orders went past 40,000. The increase in activity builds on the good performance recorded by the industry in September 2020, with an increase of 26% month-over-month. Class 8 orders for the 12-months leading up to October 2020 now sit at 215,000 units, with an 83% increase year-over-year.

Fleets like Titan Transline are continuing to order Class 8 trucks in large numbers, filling up delivery schedules in 2021 nicely. The trucking and freight industry seems to be recovering nicely from the lockdown caused by the pandemic, if the recent upsurge in activity is any indication.

Activity from consumers remains solid, with retail sale numbers running strong, resulting in frequent restocking. This, in turn, has bolstered the trucking industry, with higher freight rates, high capacity loads, and an increase in demand that necessitates the inclusion of additional trucks.

FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles Don Ake says that the Class 8 market’s turning point was the month of September. They explain that, during this month, fleets gained confidence regarding future freight demand, which resulted in them placing large orders for equipment, to replace their older units, and/or for expanding their operations.

They note that, during the months leading up to September 2020, the North American trucking industry went from fear, to hope, then to optimism. Now, they’ve throw off any fears they might’ve had about the pandemic, even if temporarily.

The notable order volume in October is a sign that the market is returning to its traditional operational and order cycles, and if this performance holds up, Q4 2021 should experience a surge similar to what Q4 2014 saw, albeit not as strong.

Ake noted that the OEM shutdowns in March and April has left some pent-up demand, but there’s also a lot of momentum from the economic restart, which is only continuing to build up. Industrial freight is still a bit behind, though.