An unforeseen robustness of the perfect storm of positives into late spring and summer, following the initial shock of COVID-19 shutdowns and other mitigation efforts, has resulted in sharp upgrades in commercial vehicle expectations since May, according to ACT Research’s Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest.
“There have been a number of factors that have contributed to significantly better freight outcomes in spite of the dramatic economic downturn that continues to negatively impact significant swaths of the U.S. economy. One of the biggest surprises is illustrated by real personal consumption,” says Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst.
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“Since consumers couldn’t spend on experiences like vacations, sporting events and concerts, they put that money to work buying goods: Summer vacation doesn’t fit into a truck, but stuff does,” Vieth says.
“On top of the consistent roll-out of good economic numbers from consumer activity, the sustained rally to record highs in dry van truckload spot rates reflects the sizeable piece of the driver supply that was sidelined in April,” Vieth says.
“The resulting rise in carrier profits bodes well for commercial vehicle demand. Even in the face of significant parked capacity right now, a case can be made for a steady, if historically modest, Class 8 market rebound from here,” he adds.
The report, which combines ACT’s proprietary data analysis from a wide variety of industry sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report includes a relevant but high-level forecast summary, complete with transportation insights for use by commercial vehicle dealer executives, reviewing top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy- and medium-duty segments, the total US trailer market, used truck sales information and a review of the U.S. macro economy.