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Preliminary Class 8 order numbers show 26 percent decline in January

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FTR said the low Class 8 order number was not entirely unexpected, as the great majority of fleets already have all their orders in for 2019 and don’t need to place any more orders for a while. (Courtesy: NAVISTAR)

Preliminary North America Class 8 net order data booking down 26 percent in January, according to two North American firms that track and analyze such data.

ACT Research showed the industry booked 15,800; FTR reported 15,600 bookings.

Both figures represent a decline of 26 percent from December.

ACT’s figure was 68 percent below what it reported in January 2018; FTR’s figure was 67 percent below a year ago.

FTR said bookings in January were the lowest for the month since 2010.

“With near-record backlogs in both the medium and heavy-duty vehicle markets, order activity continued to moderate in January. During the month, North American Classes 5-8 vehicle orders fell to an 18-month low 39,200 units,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “Regarding Class 8, recall that January 2018 marked the point at which orders went vertical. We view this January’s order softness as having more to do with pulled-forward orders and a very large Class 8 backlog than with the current supply-demand balance. Softening freight growth and strong Class 8 capacity additions suggest that the supply-demand balance will become a story in 2019, but January seems a premature start to that tale.”

FTR said the low Class 8 order number was not entirely unexpected, as the great majority of fleets already have all their orders in for 2019 and don’t need to place any more orders for a while.  Backlogs are expected to fall, but should remain over 70 percent higher than a year ago.  Class 8 orders for the past 12 months have now totaled 402,000 units.

“Orders had to fall below 20,000 units at some point. There were record breaking orders placed last July and August, and this is the payback for that volume. Even with the weak January numbers, over 330,000 trucks have been ordered in the last nine months, so demand for trucks in 2019 remains strong,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “This is more of a resting point than a turning point. There is an enormous amount of orders in the backlog. The key will be how many of these trucks get built and when. The fundamentals of the economy and freight growth remain solid, so there is no reason to panic. The production rates the first few months of the year will be a better indicator of Class 8 demand than current orders are. We do expect the cancellation rate to remain elevated, as fleets move their orders around in the backlog. Order rates are expected to remain suppressed for a few months, but build rates and retail sales are forecast to climb.”

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Barr-Nunn creates new solo fleets, increased pay

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Barr-Nunn Transportation also offers an over-the road North fleet for those drivers living in West Virginia, Detroit, along with parts of Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa. (Courtesy: BARR-NUNN TRANSPORTATION)

GRANGER, Iowa — Barr-Nunn Transportation has created new solo fleets and increased pay.

For drivers living in the northeastern United States, Ohio and some of Indiana and Kentucky there are now two options for home time.

Drivers can be home every weekend for two days and earn a maximum starting pay of 60 cents per practical mile or drivers can be home every other weekend for three days and earn a maximum starting pay of 61 cents per practical mile.

Barr-Nunn Transportation also offers an over-the road North fleet for those drivers living in West Virginia, Detroit, along with parts of Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa.  These drivers are home every 18 days for four full days and can earn a top starting rate of 62 cents per practical mile to start.

In addition to these starting rates all company drivers receive CSA safety bonuses of $725 or $550 every 90 days plus PTO (vacation) along with the money.  Over-the-road company drivers can earn over two weeks of PTO (vacation) in their first year with Barr-Nunn and they start receiving this PTO after 30 days.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance, 401(k) matching program, extra pay per mile on shorter hauls and paid life insurance are added benefits at Barr-Nunn.

For more information about Barr-Nunn Transportation visit their website at www.barrnunntruckingjobs.com or call 888-999-7576.

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FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index took step back in April

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The Shippers Conditions Index tracks the changes representing four major conditions in the U.S. full-load freight market including freight demand, freight rates, fleet capacity, and fuel price. (The Trucker file photo)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — FTR’s April Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) took a step back in April to a reading of 1.9, close to a full point below March.

The April SCI measure was negatively affected by stronger rail rates and higher fuel prices outweighing improved shipper conditions related to trucking.

The outlook shows strong shipper conditions through 2019 as the rate environment is expected to become more favorable.  Key factors to watch include fuel prices, truck utilization, and rail service.

“Shippers should continue to expect favorable conditions and an ability to easily get freight placed in the market,” said Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR. “They will be aided by the relatively stable fuel prices through most of the rest of 2019 and somewhat slowing rail freight volumes.”

The Shippers Conditions Index tracks the changes representing four major conditions in the U.S. full-load freight market. These conditions are: freight demand, freight rates, fleet capacity, and fuel price. The individual metrics are combined into a single index that tracks the market conditions that influence the shippers’ freight transport environment. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. A negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. The index tells you the industry’s health at a glance. In life, running a fever is an indication of a health problem. It may not tell you exactly what’s wrong, but it alerts you to look deeper. Similarly, a reading well below zero on the FTR Trucking Conditions Index warns you of a problem…and readings high above zero spell opportunity. Readings near zero are consistent with a neutral operating environment. Double digit readings (both up or down) are warning signs for significant operating changes.

For more information about the work of FTR, visit www.FTRintel.com, follow us on Twitter @ftrintel, or call (888) 988-1699, ext. 1.

 

 

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ACT Research Trucking Index shows nearly across-the-board declines

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This chart shows the history of the Volume Index which dropped further into negative territory hitting 46.7 (SA), from 49.5 in April. (Courtesy: ACT RESEARCH)

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

The Pricing Index fell considerably to 38.8, in May on a seasonally adjusted (SA) basis, the lowest in survey history, from 45.4 in April.

The Volume Index dropped further into negative territory hitting 46.7 (SA), from 49.5 in April. Fleet productivity/utilization slipped to 46.0 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis down from 49.4 in April, and capacity growth increased to 54.6, from April’s 54.3 reading.

“May’s Pricing Index was the fourth consecutive negative number after 30 straight months of expansion. This confirms our expectation that the annual bid season is not going well for truckers,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “We continue to believe rates are under pressure from weak freight volumes and strong capacity growth.”

Volume in May fell for the sixth time in the past seven months, Denover said.

“The softness coincides with several other recent freight metrics, with the drop likely due in part to rapid growth of private fleets and the slowdown in the industrial sector of the economy,” he said. “The supply-demand balance reading loosened to 42.1, from 45.3 in April. The past seven consecutive readings have shown a deterioration in the supply-demand balance, with May the largest yet.”

The ACT Freight Forecast provides quarterly forecasts for the direction of volumes and contract rates through 2020 and annual forecasts through 2021 for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal segments of the transportation industry.

For the truckload spot market, the report provides forecasts for the next 12 months.

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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