Private fleets to stimulate 2024 pre-buy activity

Carrier database from ACT Research

ACT Research reported this week in its most recent North American commercial vehicle forecast that incoming regulatory hurricanes are likely to drive shifts in fleet purchasing decisions as the year progresses.

“With February’s confirmation of ongoing strength in Class 8 orders, amongst other supportive signs, the U.S. Class 8 tractor market is experiencing demand pulling forward in 2024,” says Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst.

Vieth says February's strong order totals underscores an ongoing “above-demand-level trend in an otherwise over-capacitized U.S. tractor market.” He adds further corroboration of evidence leads ACT Research to believe that pre-buying is being driven by private fleets, as for-hire load-to-truck ratios and freight rates, plus ACT’s Public TL Carrier Database, confirm the continuation of profoundly bad for-hire freight economics.

[RELATED: TPS survey data shows more optimism for 2024 truck sales]

Vieth adds, “Private fleets’ longer trade cycles are supportive of more aggressive capacity planning three years ahead of the EPA’s 2027 Clean Truck mandate. The strength in private fleet demand and expansion is fueled by both strong corporate profits and pandemic-era for-hire capacity constraints. Private fleet capacity additions were a major story in 2023 that appears set to continue through 2024.”

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