FTR reported preliminary North American Class 8 net orders for June were up 13% month over month at 26,700 units. Orders were +71% year over year, with Class 8 orders now totaling 431,000 units for the previous 12 months.
The June order total is very positive because it indicates this order cycle bottomed out at 24,000 orders in May. That is almost double the typical low point. FTR expects a surge of orders when all the OEMs start booking for 2022. This could happen as early as July.
“It appears that June was a transitory month,” said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles for FTR. “Orders for delivery in 2021 are ending, as fleets grabbed the remaining built slots for 2021 and there are indications that some early orders for 2022 were added to the mix. Presently, the first quarter of 2022 is uncertain from a production standpoint because unfilled orders from 2021 are expected to roll into 2022. Supply chain issues continue to restrict OEM production, creating a shortage of new trucks and generating a great deal of pent-up demand.
“Fleets are still in desperate need of new trucks to handle the surge in freight growth,” Ake said. “The full opening of the economy continues to strain deliveries, with service levels falling at some of the most reliable carriers. Spot freight rates remain highly elevated, an indicator that freight capacity is being greatly stressed.”
Final data for June will be available from FTR later in the month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service.