Trailer fleets more profitable

Publicly traded truckload companies in the second calendar quarter are reporting increased profits, one reason to expect to demand for heavy-duty trucks and trailers.

ACT Research projects full-year production of heavy-duty (Class 8) vehicles will be up 26% compared to 2009 and accelerate into 2011. Production of commercial trailers is expected to increase by 47% in 2010 and also post strong growth 2011. As it is closely tied to the health of the housing sector, the medium-duty vehicle sector continues to recover slowly.

“Trucker profitability rebounded sharply in the second quarter, fueled by tightening capacity and rising freight rates,” said John Burton, vice president-transportation sector with ACT Research. “Even with modest economic growth, commercial vehicle demand should continue to rise as carriers appear to be replacing an aging fleet but not adding capacity. Demand for new heavy-duty vehicles continues to be well below normal replacement levels, meaning overall fleet capacity is shrinking due to scrappage and export of used tractors. This will allow truckers to retain pricing leverage and profits,” added Burton.

The information can be found in the latest release of the ACT North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook. ACT Research specializes in industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American commercial vehicle market. The company also offers these services for the China commercial vehicle market. For more information on ACT, visit

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