After hitting record lows in nearly a decade in April, net orders for new Class 8 trucks and trailers continue to rise in the second half of 2020. Truck orders for August 2020 were up 90% over the same month in 2019. July trailer orders for dry vans, reefers and flatbeds were up 84% over the previous year.
Freight tonnage increasing while rates hold steady
As the economy continues to recover, contract tonnage has rebounded as well. While still down from its May 2019 peak, volumes continue to grow following COVID19 related dips. A robust spot market has slightly depressed contract tonnage, largely contributing to the drop seen in July 2020.
All of this has resulted in linehaul rates holding steady for much of the year, including through the worst of COVID19 shutdowns. While still well below their peak, the steep decline in rates caused by a glut of supply entering the market in response has finally leveled off. Spot rates are trending up again, which usually indicated linehaul will follow soon after. In the meantime, both shippers and transportation companies should be enjoying some predictability in rates.