2018 Trucking Industry News Update

With solid sales year-over-year and new technologies being implemented into a multitude of fields, including the trucking industry, it is no wonder why global trucking industry news is reporting all-duty trucks is expected to continue its upward growth through 2025.

But it isn’t just the presence of sales that is compelling to analysts, it is the level of trucks driving this growth for all in the industry. Heavy-duty trucks sales share increased by 5.5% to 66.6% of global medium-duty/heavy-duty sales. This is a reversal of the trend of growing share in medium-duty trucks in the past few years on account of recovery of HD truck demand in heavy-duty trucks in the Chinese, North American and Europe markets. This growth is attributed to the record levels of sales in the Chinese market, reaching 1.45 million units in 2017 with recovery in manufacturing, infrastructure, and anti-loading regulations, as well as emission standards.

New technologies and streamlined design are driving new truck sales as medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks gain lifespan. Electric powertrain and autonomous driving have emerged hot favorites in the trucking industry. With prototype launches from a slew of conventional and new OEMs, full electric powertrain development is gathering industry attention. Isuzu showcased their medium-duty all electric NPR at this year’s Truck Fest.

Transport Topics, reports that the growth of the overall economy through construction and e-commerce have been key to medium-duty truck sales spikes, particularly in final-mile distributors. Through the first half of 2018, retail sales of Classes 5-7 trucks in the United States were running about 7% ahead of the same period in 2017. North American sales these classes are projected to close out the year at about 259,000 units, up from 248,000 units in 2017. This is the closest the trucking industry has been to pre-recession numbers in the last few years. The last time North America approached these numbers was in 2006, when truck makers reported retail sales of 262,000 units.

Despite steady sales, the trucking industry is facing a critical shortage of drivers and technicians. With the increase in e-commerce and the need for drivers and technicians to service the high-demand fleets, the shortage in the trucking industry is rippling through the rest of the economy. Trucks moved more than 70% of all U.S. freight and generated $719 billion in revenue in 2017, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA). To compete for talent, companies are offering higher pay and bonuses in order to win over qualified drivers and technicians. This is causing shipping rates to skyrocket for consumers and the e-commerce companies like Amazon or eBay that they frequent.

While things are looking up for the trucking industry in numbers, the demand for reliable fleets and qualified workers to drive and service them is proving difficult to match. Nextran Truck Centers has locations in Georgia, Florida and Alabama. If you or someone you know is interested in joining the trucking industry, or is in need of sales and services to your current fleet, give us a call at one of our 16 locations.

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