Author Archives: Don Ake

About Don Ake

Don has more than 20 years of experience in the transportation industry, including 16 years with industry supplier Hendrickson International. Don has a very strong forecasting and market analysis background. While at Hendrickson Don developed forecasting models, methods and processes to accurately forecast Truck and Trailer builds and product demand. Don wrote an industry economic newsletter and gained a reputation as a top industry analyst. His industry supplier background provides a "customer perspective" now that he is with FTR.

Ake’s Take: Bottleneck In The Supply Chain Is An Economic Threat

By | July 6, 2018

The Institute for Supply Management’s PMI for Manufacturing (Purchasing Managers Index) jumped to 60.2 in June, up from 58.7 in May and rising for the second straight month.  Considering that anything over 50 represents growth, the 60.2 is a robust reading which means everything must be wonderful in the manufacturing sector, right? Well not so… Read More »

Ake’s Take: Let the Good Times Roll – For at Least Two More Years

By | April 12, 2018

GDP is high, and unemployment is low. Manufacturing is booming, and wages are rising. So, everyone is joyous, correct? Of course not, you are starting to see articles claiming that, if things are this good, a recession must be coming soon. So, it is time to again consider what the truck equipment markets indicate about… Read More »

Ake’s Take: How the Capacity Crisis was Born

By | March 20, 2018

The U.S. trucking industry is experiencing a capacity crisis, with insufficient numbers of trucks and trailers to haul an ever-increasing amount of freight. FTR’s measurement of Total Truck Utilization is currently at 97% (meaning 97% of all trucks are in use). The index is expected to hit 100% later this year. While it is an… Read More »

Ake’s Take: Christmas Lights Shine for a Bright Economy

By | January 11, 2018

An unusual economic indicator that I track is “Outdoor Christmas Lights” (OCLs). OCLs are a coincidental economic indicator, providing information about the current state of the economy. This indicator is only relevant when the economy is getting weaker or growing stronger, and its measurement is highly subjective – more observational than measurable. Also, it is… Read More »

AKE’S TAKE: Super Gridlock is Super Good for Business

By | October 10, 2017

A panelist at the recent FTR Transportation Conference reminded us that businesses like it when the government stays out of “their business.” He said companies were benefiting from the new “hands off” environment. He claimed this had improved business confidence, and, more importantly, business performance. We have seen these conditions before, usually when power in… Read More »