Indianapolis. A growing economy means plenty of freight, and plenty of freight is good for truckers. And what’s good for truckers is good for transportation equipment suppliers—and for their suppliers. Indeed, according to industry insiders and economic forecasters here at the 2018 FTR Transportation Conference last month, the real question is whether truck and trailer manufacturers, constrained by supply chain challenges this year, can keep up with demand next year.
“Upside and downside? It’s all suppliers,” says Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles.
The following coverage features a roundup of the economic big picture, as presented by prognosticators who sometimes did their best not to agree with other. But the consensus takeaway is that, for at least a couple of more years, business looks pretty good.
The FTR team then works their magic on the economic data to come up with their forecasts for the equipment markets: Class 8, trailers, and a refrigerated market close-up.
The annual conference also featured several presentations related to the shifting nature of the supply chain, and the equipment that drives it. Read on to learn more about the next generation of connected, electrified and automated commercial vehicles.