New monthly truck orders dropped to their lowest in 26 years, despite demand remaining high, according to FTR Associates.
Preliminary North American Class 8 orders totaled 9,500 units, down 41% from October levels and down 82% year over year – the lowest total since 1995.
However, the drop has nothing to do with demand, which is still strong, but due to OEMs limiting order intake in response to worldwide supply chain disruptions.
“The low order numbers in November in no way are representative of total demand. The weak volumes are because OEMs are managing their backlogs very carefully. After overbooking almost every month in 2021, the OEMs are being extremely meticulous about scheduling commitments in 2022,” said Don Ake, FTR’s vice-president – commercial vehicles.
“This strategy will continue until the supply chain situation improves. Once the OEMs are confident they can obtain the necessary production inputs, they will boost production and enter more orders. Backlogs remain at sturdy levels, but OEMs don’t want them much higher until they know their manufacturing capacity. Demand for new trucks is at record levels. There is tremendous pent-up demand generated in 2020 and 2021. Spot rates are at record levels, and contract rates are rising. Prices for used trucks are also at record highs. And when the manufacturing sector of the economy gets past the supply chain crisis, there will be even more freight to haul.”