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Orders & Indices

11.28.18

FTR Reports Tremendous Trailer Order Activity in October

Trailer orders were tremendous for the second month in a row. October’s total was 53,000 units, coming in just under last month’s record setting number. Additional OEM’s started taking orders for the second half of 2019 and their customers responded by placing huge orders to reserve future build slots.  Supply for production parts and components remains tight.

October 2019 trailer orders exceeded the same month last year by 67%, with orders for the past twelve months now at 423,000.  Both dry van and flatbed orders were very robust but refrigerated vans moderated somewhat.

11.28.18

FTR Trucking Conditions Index for September Lowest in a Year

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index for September fell to the lowest level in a year at a reading of 4.58. It is the first time the TCI measure has fallen to single digits since December 2017, and is a reflection of some stabilization in freight rates and demand. Holiday shipping should keep volumes, capacity, and rates healthy causing the TCI to rise through the end of 2018. However, the index is forecast to begin a gradual softening through most of 2019.

Details of the September TCI are found in the November issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published October 29, 2018. The ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light’ section in the current issue has an analysis of the fundamental factors in play and the dynamics of the current housing market. Along with the TCI and ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light,’ the Trucking Update includes data and analysis on load volumes, the capacity environment, rates, costs, and the truck driver situation.

11.27.18

FTR’s September Shippers Conditions Index Continues to Improve with Positive Trend Expected Into 2019

 FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for September reflected continued improvement in the environment for shippers with a new reading of -7.6, more than one point better than August. Overall conditions are still not favorable for shippers but FTR’s SCI measure is expected to steadily moderate in 2019.  Increasing capacity and productivity in both truck and intermodal, and the resulting stabilization in rate growth, should impact shippers positively through next year with the SCI forecast to reach a neutral reading by 2019Q4. 

11.09.18

FTR Reports North American Class 8 Orders for October Show Significant Continuing Strength at 43,000 Units

 FTR reports preliminary North American Class 8 orders for October at 43,000 units, surpassing 40,000 units for a record eighth month in a row.  October 2018 orders were the 10th best ever; 2% above a strong September and 19% better than a year ago.  Fleets continue to order a record number of trucks to secure remaining build slots in 2019.  Freight volumes are now expected to be healthy well into the second half of 2019, keeping capacity utilization at extremely tight levels for an extended period. North American Class 8 orders for the past twelve months have now totaled 504,000 units.

10.25.18

FTR’s August Shippers Conditions Index Shows Some Improvement

FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for August improved by a little more than one point from July to a reading of -8.8.  After hitting an all-time low in May, the SCI has steadily moved upward, albeit still in significantly negative territory.  Overall, shippers are experiencing some relief from excessively tight capacity, and FTR expects that to continue with rate growth moderating accordingly.  By mid to late 2019 the SCI could be recording neutral readings. 

10.16.18

FTR Trucking Conditions Index for August Declines But Remains in Strong Positive Territory

Although FTR’s August Trucking Conditions Index at a reading of 10.24 fell from the very high reading of the previous month, it continues to reflect a very positive carrier environment. The moderation in the August TCI reflects some freight rate stabilization and continued incremental capacity additions. Freight demand remains quite strong and the TCI is forecast to hold up at the current level for the next year or more.

Details of the August TCI are found in the October issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published September 28, 2018. The ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light’ section in the current issue offers analysis on what a (unlikely for now) recession might look like in order to more readily recognize the signs and forecast how such a scenario might affect transportation providers and suppliers. Along with the TCI and ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light,’ the Trucking Update includes data and analysis on load volumes, the capacity environment, rates, costs, and the truck driver situation.

10.16.18

FTR Reports September Preliminary Orders Shatter Previous All-Time Record

September trailers orders were a tremendous 56,000 units, exceeding the previous record from October 2014 by over 10,000 trailers. Orders continue to exceed expectations with September units 59% higher than August and up 133% y/y. Trailer orders for the past twelve months have now exceeded 400,000 units.

The OEMs opened up their order boards for the remainder of 2019 and the fleets responded with many large orders. Most of the order increase was in dry vans, but refrigerated van orders were healthy, as were flatbeds. There are still concerns about future raw material costs and component availability, but this did not hinder the fleets from ordering in huge numbers for future deliveries.

10.03.18

FTR Reports North American Class 8 Orders for September Continue Surge as Fleets Secure Truck Availability Throughout 2019

FTR reports preliminary North American Class 8 orders for September continued to surge, coming in at 42,300 units for the month.  The third quarter 2018 decisively set an all-time record with 146,800 Class 8 orders.  September Class 8 order activity was the 10th best month ever but with most of 2018 hitting all time highs, was only the 5th highest monthly volume this year.  Sturdy freight growth continues to strain industry capacity and fleets are placing orders a year out to secure new truck availability throughout 2019.  North American Class 8 orders for the past twelve months have now totaled 497,000 units.