Backlog doubles with skyrocketing new truck demand

The heavy-duty truck market exploded off the starting blocks to start the year, building on 2020’s strong close, ACT Research indicated in its most recent Transportation Digest.

"At the start of 2021, commercial vehicle demand is hot,” says Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. "Over the past four months ending in January, Class 8 backlogs doubled. That period included best- and third-best ever orders for Class 8 tractors in November and December.”

Vieth indicates a massive supply-demand imbalance between freight and drivers in the second half of 2020 is what lit commercial vehicle demand on fire. And after adding approximately 44,000 new truck orders in February, that demand is yet to subside. 

Looking ahead, he says ACT Research is confident the conditions driving demand should remain in place. "What will dictate the trajectory of build, retail sales, and our forecasts will be the industry’s ability to navigate around both traditional and nontraditional supply-chain constraints,” he says.

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