Demand for trucks and trailers has been robust since orders bottomed out during the first months of the pandemic last year. Yet by mid-2021 orders were constrained, as most OEMs had few open build spots. Orders are expected to surge once equipment makers open the order boards for 2022.
“Fleets are still in desperate need of new trucks to handle the surge in freight growth,” said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles for FTR, in reporting June truck orders. “The full opening of the economy continues to strain deliveries, with service levels falling at some of the most reliable carriers.”
The skyrocketing prices for late-model used trucks are another indication of the demand.
Class 8 U.S. retail sales through the first six months of 2021 are well on pace to eclipse 2020’s, according to Ward’s data. 2020 sales totaled 191,900. Sales for the first six months of this year totaled 111,552. Freightliner continues to gain in Class 8 market share. Its share rose from 36.5% in 2019 to 37.4% in 2020 to just under 40% for the first six months of 2021. International had the largest drop in 2020 from the previous year, slipping from 13.7% to 12.1% in 2020, and stands at 11.7% for the first six months of this year.
Trucking is an increasingly data-driven industry. Numbers matter. There’s no end to the available software and analytics available to fleets today to help them analyze and improve their operations.
But sometimes you want to look at statistics and data to help give you the big picture, and this is what Heavy Duty Trucking’s annual Fact Book issue is all about. It’s designed to provide a snapshot of the current state of the industry, where it’s been, and where it’s going. These numbers can help you in planning and benchmarking your fleet, and in telling trucking’s story to others. And it can serve as a reference guide throughout the year.
This is the seventh year for the HDT Fact Book. Check out the other published sections of the Fact Book:
Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology.