Freight delivery File photo
Truck tonnage and orders for new equipment all increased during October.

Reports illustrate strength of current truck market

The for-hire truck tonnage index increased 9.5% in October from a year ago and 6.3% from the previous month, American Trucking Associations reported. 

“After slowing at the end of the third quarter, truck freight surged in October,” said Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist. “Last month’s strength was due, at least in part, to strong import numbers, especially on the West Coast. This is likely a pull ahead of imports as shippers try to take delivery of goods before Jan. 1 when tariffs on a large list of goods China increases from 10% to 25%.”

ATA said the not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets, gained 11.8% over September. 

In other news, ACT Research said Class 8 orders in North America totaled 43,256 units in October. That was 21% above a year earlier but lower than recent months in 2018. 

“Demand remains elevated, well above expectations based on replacement and as justified by the current economic and freight growth environment,” said Steve Tam, ACT Research’s vice president. 

Tam also noted medium-duty orders remained near the 12-month average of 24,500 units.

“In further testament to the stability of the medium-duty market, build, and sales both rose 3% sequentially, solidifying their year-to-date gains of 8% and 7%, respectively,” he said.

ACT also said new trailer orders continued rising in October, and were up 55% to 350,000 units through the first 10 months of 2018.

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