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Orders for new Class 8 trucks dip below 16,000

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Orders for new Class 8 trucks have been below 20,000 for the past three months. Pictured is the Volvo VNL 780. (Courtesy: VOLVO TRUCKS)

Orders for new Class 8 trucks dipped below 16,000, according to the two companies that track and analyze such data.

ACT Research said preliminary North America Class 8 net order data show the industry booked 15,700 units in March, dropping a moderate 6.7 percent from February, but down 66 percent from year-ago March.

FTR reported preliminary North American Class 8 orders for March at 15,200 units, remaining below the 20,000 threshold for the third consecutive month.  March 2019 was the lowest March for orders since 2010. March orders were 8 percent below February and down 67 percent yuear-over-year. Class 8 orders for the past 12 months have now totaled 397,000 units, FTR said.

“March marks the fourth consecutive month of orders meaningfully below the current rate of build. Over that four-month period, Class 8 orders have been booked at a 194,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), compared to a 489,000 SAAR for the same period a year ago,” said Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president. “Even though demand is a shadow of its former self, slowing order intake belies current conditions. Admittedly, economic and freight growth are slowing, but both are still growing. And in the context of retreat from record levels, it is no wonder truck buyers continue to pursue incremental profits, as evidenced by the number of unbuilt units in the backlog.”

Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, said demand is still strong, but supply is limited with all of the choice build slots for 2019 filled. Fleets that need trucks are basically taking whatever is available.  Backlogs are rapidly declining, as the market tries to rebalance and establish some semblance of normality.

“These are extraordinary market conditions. Most fleets ordered well in advance of their need for trucks in 2019,” Ake said. OEM production slots were scarce in 2018 and supplier constraints caused disruptions in supply, so fleets didn’t want to get shutout this year. Now so many build slots have been reserved, fleets that are currently placing orders for delivery this year don’t have many options. “Even though the economy and freight growth appear to be slowing, it has not impacted OEM line rates as of yet. Fleets are still putting more trucks in service and competing in a still decent freight market. It is expected that Class 8 sales will moderate sometime before the end of the year, as industry capacity begins to catch up with the freight surge that began in 2018.”

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JK Moving modernizes moving with mobile app and virtual AI estimating options

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The JK mobile app enables clients to go onto the app to receive and review estimates; accept and edit estimates; make payments; communicate with their sales consultant and move coordinator; and prepare for the move day. (Courtesy: JK MOVING)

STERLING, Va. — JK Moving Services, a global moving, storage, relocation and logistics enterprise, says it has added new technologies to further modernize the move experience for customers, including a mobile app to help the customer manage the move process and software to do virtual estimates with either a real person or by an artificial intelligence interface.

“Great technology makes for better moves and that’s why we invest in cutting-edge solutions. Mobile apps and AI are now part of our customer tool kit,” said CEO Chuck Kuhn. “Giving clients choices in how they work with us helps us meet a variety of customer needs and styles.”

Kuhn said JK’s tech team had created a downloadable mobile app that enables clients to go onto the app to receive and review estimates; accept and edit estimates; make payments; communicate with their sales consultant and move coordinator; and prepare for the move day. The app is monitored 24/7 by the JK team.

Since this custom app was developed in-house, JK is able to incorporate feedback and improvements quickly, Kuhn said, adding that the mobile app complements new estimating software that clients can use to get a virtual estimate.

The client gives a tour of their house with their phone to their choice of a real or AI representative. The AI estimating software recognizes shapes of objects and makes an inventory list. From that tour, JK can provide an estimate and send it to the mobile app. Estimators still are available to come to someone’s house if that is what the client prefers.

“Going mobile improves our customer offerings since many clients want products that are seamless, easy and quick. We’re receiving terrific feedback for our new mobile app and virtual estimating. These tech advancements put us at the forefront of the residential moving business,” said David Cox, executive vice president, residential, JK Moving.

Cox said the mobile app also reduces the use of paper, which is good for the environment. Environmental stewardship is part of the JK culture and a consideration in many of the company’s innovations.

“In fact, JK was one of the first on many environmentally friendly practices, including: ordering Tesla semi moving trucks, embracing new technologies that will further its aggressive carbon emissions-reduction goals, leading with box-less moves and major recycling efforts, and starting a chemical free community farm,” he said.

Another recent modernization includes the addition of dashcam technology in its whole fleet. These cameras are installed in the truck cabs. When a trigger event happens, such as a sudden stop or jostling movement, a 12-second video clip gets sent to DriveCam, a third-party vendor that monitors and evaluates the incidents. DriveCam sends JK feedback when opportunities arise to improve driving behaviors, enabling JK to provide customized training to drivers. The dashcams have resulted in employees improving their driving skills and experiencing fewer triggering events, resulting in fewer accidents and a reduction in claims.

 

 

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Reddaway celebrates centennial anniversary while continuing its evolution

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One hundred years after its founding, Reddaway operates with 5,000 trailers, 1,500 tractors, and is now part of YRC Regional Transportation, along with Holland in the Midwest and Southeast, and New Penn serving the Eastern United States (Courtesy: REDDWAY)

TUALATIN, Ore. — Reddaway, the longest continuously operating Oregon-based regional less-than-truckload carrier, is celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year.

Founded in 1919 in Oregon City, Reddaway continues to advance its services for the 21st century while remaining the premier service provider in the Western United States and Canada, according to Reddway President Bob Stone.

Reddaway’s founder, William Arthur Reddaway, began the company with one Ford Model T truck primarily serving Portland and Oregon City. One hundred years later, Reddaway operates with 5,000 trailers, 1,500 tractors, and is now part of YRC Regional Transportation, along with Holland in the Midwest and Southeast, and New Penn serving the Eastern United States.

“It’s humbling to think about the legacy of innovation, continuous improvement, exceptional reliability and the personalized support that have not only carried us through the past 100 years, but have allowed us to thrive,” Stone said. “I have had the pleasure of witnessing it firsthand for the past 25 years. I’m honored to work alongside the dedicated people who make Reddaway a company that our customers enjoy doing business with. It’s this culture and our people who help us continue to thrive into the next century.”

As part of the company’s 100-year celebration, Reddaway will be hosting appreciation events in the Tualatin office as well as field offices to recognize and thank the thousands of loyal employees who work hard to take care of the customers they serve, Stone said.

The western U.S. provider of LTL services, Reddaway currently employs over 2,800 people and operates more than 40 service centers. With high on-time reliability and one of the lowest claim ratios in the west, Reddaway continues to lead the industry in customer satisfaction.

Reddaway has earned multiple distinctions over the years, including these recent awards such as the 2018 West Coast Regional Carrier of the Year from Worldwide Express, 2018 LTL Carrier of the Year from DHL Supply Chain and the 2018 Carrier of the Year, West Regional, by GlobalTranz.

For more information, visit www.reddawayregional.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Weak finish to 2nd quarter

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The June Pricing Index at 43.8 (seasonally adjusted) recovered a good bit of last month’s sharp decline, up from 38.8 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest in survey history. (Courtesy: ACT RESEARCH)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index (June data) showed nearly across-the-board declines, with capacity again the lone exception.

The Volume Index dropped further into negative territory, falling to 43.2 (seasonally adjusted) in June from 46.7 in May.

The June Pricing Index at 43.8 (seasonally adjusted) recovered a good bit of last month’s sharp decline, up from 38.8 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest in survey history.

“Volumes and utilization have been down seven of eight months, and the supply-demand balance has been loosening for eight straight months,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “In line with several second quarter earnings warnings from truckload carriers this week, this is further confirmation of a weak freight environment. May’s Pricing Index looked a little anomalously bad, so it was good to see that pick back up, though still not a great level in June.”

Denoyer said volumes reached a new cycle low in June, likely due in part to rapid growth of private fleets, the slowdown in the industrial sector and some inventory drawdown.

“This coincides with most other freight metrics,” he said. “The supply-demand balance reading loosened to 41.4, from 42.1 in May. The past eight consecutive readings have shown a deterioration in the supply-demand balance, with June the largest yet.”

ACT is a publisher of new and used commercial vehicle (CV) industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market. ACT’s CV services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, major trucking and logistics firms, as well as the banking and investment community in North America, Europe, and China.

 

 

 

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