North American Class 8 semi-trucks orders soar 76 percent

Vastavam web: North American orders for Class 8 semi-trucks jumped more than 76 percent in February as trucking companies rushed to add capacity in a tight U.S. freight market, FTR, a company that tracks the industry, said on Sunday.Preliminary orders in the United States, Canada and Mexico for the big rigs that haul freight along North American highways hit 40,200 trucks, up from 22,886 in February 2017, the second consecutive month that orders exceeded 40,000 units.Many rail and truck freight customers are grappling with how to defend their profit margins as transportation costs climb at nearly double the inflation rate.

FTR said the ongoing crunch in U.S. freight capacity appears to be exacerbated by a federal mandate that truck firms switch to electronic logs (ELDs) from paper logs, which into effect in December.Experts have predicted many smaller trucking outfits that have fudged the books in order to stay profitable in a low-margin industry will close up shop, benefiting larger companies and driving up demand for new vehicles.

February orders were“sturdy across the board for all markets and truck types,” FTR said. Full-year 2017 orders for Class 8 trucks came in at 290,000 units compared with 164,000 in 2016. The United States is by far the largest market in North America.