FTR reports preliminary North American Class 8 net orders remained impressive in February for the fifth consecutive month coming in at 44,000 units, +3% m/m, and +209% y/y. Emphasizing the strength of the orders, February 2021 was the second-highest total ever for the month of February. Orders for the previous twelve months now total 338,000 units.

There is intense pressure on freight hauling capacity to get more trucks into service. However, the supply of new trucks is limited due to component and part shortages. In response, fleets continue to place orders in elevated volumes to try to acquire as many tractors as possible.

Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles for FTR commented, “There is tremendous pent-up demand for trucks. There are severe bottlenecks in the supply chain involving computer chips, wiring harnesses, and a whole host of various parts. OEMs are under intense pressure to deliver as many vehicles as they can, as soon as they can.”

“The tight capacity has caused spot rates to spike from already elevated levels. Contract rates are rising also. Therefore, fleets have plenty of cash to spend. They desperately need trucks, so they are ordering at near-record levels.”

“The supply chain is so dysfunctional right now and there are so many parts affected, it is difficult to predict when the logjam breaks loose. The vaccine should help component manufacturers find more workers. There are also lengthy waits at the ports causing delays in imported parts.”