September is typically the second-weakest order month of the year for Class 8, so modest activity was expected. Class 8 net orders were 19,018 units. Meanwhile, the medium duty market was able to mostly offset a sharp pullback in bus orders to net 16,745 units in orders. This updated status of the North America commercial vehicle market was included in the State of the Industry report, recently released by ACT Research Co. (ACT). The report covers Classes 5 through 8 vehicles for the North American market.
Although fleet bankruptcies get most of the attention, the slow, steady and largely unnoticed downsizing of fleets will have a major impact on freight capacity as tonnage picks up, according to Derek Leathers, president and COO of Werner Enterprises.
Spot market freight volumes declined 16 percent in April compared to April 2012, according to the DAT North American Freight Index. Year-over-year declines in volume were seen across all equipment types: van load volume declined 20 percent, refrigerated ("reefer") loads slipped 10 percent, and flatbed freight dropped 15 percent.