Key economic indicators for the trucking industry all seem to be showing that 2018 will be a good year in this sector. Freight demand is rising, rates are soaring, and truck sales are enjoying the highest levels in years.
Kyle Quinn, general manager of Peterbilt remarked to Trucks.com that “We don’t see anything on the horizon that says we are going to have a weakening economy,”. For the heaviest weight class, Peterbilt is forecasting that sales will be in the range of 235,000 to 265,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada this year.
It is believed that the growth in e-commerce is in part responsible for freight volume being at record levels. Carrier rates are also increasing while orders and retail sales of class 8 trucks are on the increase. The continuing shortage in drivers has prompted some trucking companies to focus on replacing trucks instead of expanding their fleets over the last two quarters.
The amounts of freight being moved is also on the rise. Freight tonnage in January jumped 8.8 percent compared with the same period a year ago, according to the American Trucking Associations’ For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index. The amount of freight hauled in January increased 2 percent after dipping slightly — 0.3 percent — in December.
With the demand for hauling goods rising steadily it is no wonder that trucking rates are also on the up curve. According to DAT solutions, which tracks freight and rates, January was a record setting month for spot truckload freight increasing 65 percent when compared to the same month a year earlier.
Freight rates are showing increases in all sectors of the trucking industry as trucking companies respond to the increased demand for hauling goods across the country.
The healthy economy combined with the new tax policy promises to make it a good year for the trucking industry.