Today’s Pickup: ACT research shows HD & MD Orders at 59,600 in April

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Good day,

Preliminary North America Classes 5-8 net order data show the industry booked 59,600 units in 2018’s fourth month in preliminary numbers. After the order results posted in the seasonally strong first quarter, there was only one direction for orders to head in April – down. While below any of the first three month of 2018, a goodly portion of the decline was seasonality.

“On that basis, April’s orders (60k) were bigger than any month in 2017 as activity in both the medium and heavy-duty vehicle markets remained strong,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “Our preliminary look at North American Classes 5-8 net orders for April show that orders rose 40% year-over-year. Seasonally adjusted, April’s orders fell 12% from March.”

Solid MD order activity continued into April, if below levels seen through Q1. In April, preliminary NA Classes 5-7 net orders rose 33% y/y to 24,800 units. “There is virtually no seasonality in April for the MD market. As a result, and while orders were down 16% nominally from March, on a seasonally adjusted basis, Classes 5-7 orders were 24,900 units, up 200 units/0.8% month over month” said Vieth.

About Class 8 orders, Vieth commented, “In ACT’s 30-plus years of collecting industry statistics, the Class 8 market has never had four consecutive months in which orders exceeded 40,000 units. Preliminary data indicate that the wall remains in place as 34,800 Class 8 net orders were booked in April, stopping the latest string of 40k-plus order months at three.” Seasonal adjustment boosts the month’s orders to 35,200 units.

Did you know?

U.S. oil exports reached a record 2.3 million barrels a day last week.


“ATA’s mission is to secure victories on behalf of our industry and our members. We’ve worked hard to build broad coalitions, reaching out to those who have an interest in the future of this industry, including OOIDA, and we will continue to do so as we advocate on behalf of the entire trucking industry. We hope OOIDA’s members can see the value in joining the broader industry and support change.”

–Sean McNally, ATA vice president of public affairs

In other news:

Energy firms will build U.S. gateway for world’s biggest tankers

The joint venture will give U.S. exporters new capacity to reach global markets, and give troubled ship operators an important new tanker destination. (WSJ)

Ford takes the exit ramp from the car business

More than 90% of Ford sales in the next decade will be pickup trucks, utilities, and commercial vehicles. (Forbes)

Supply chain technology – the cost of starting late

This whitepaper shows industry survey results from adopters in supply chain management and offers insights on ROI for supply chain investment. (SupplyChain247)

Panama Canal to raise maximum draft for Neopanamax Locks

The Panama Canal is to increase the maximum allowable beam for vessels transiting the Neopanamax Locks. (World Maritime News)

Grain giants expect higher profits from bad weather

ADM, Bunge say trading and processing business is improving after years of bumper harvests. (WSJ)

Final Thoughts:

The California Supreme Court Dynamex decision would seem to raise as many questions as it answers. It would be premature to issue definitive forecasts about its impact, as some are already doing, suggesting the decision could dramatically increase the costs for startups reliant on the gig economy, such as Uber, Lyft and other startups reliant on independent contractors. Scopelitis’ Greg Feary and the Owner-Operator Practice Section, along with Jim Hanson and the Class Action Practice Section, and their respective teams, including several of the firm’s California-licensed attorneys, are developing guidance to address the decision both on an operational level and in connection with ongoing cases.

Hammer down everyone!

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Chad Prevost

Chad is radio host and broadcast media specialist for FreightWaves.