Used truck prices continued to rise above their already elevated levels in July, putting additional pressure on a freight market that is struggling to generate sufficient capacity to match rising trends in e-commerce, back to school, and holiday peak stocking.
The news exacerbates a summer trend that has created soaring sales prices for used Class 8 vehicles, thanks to both hot demand and restricted supply of trucks.
Those forces continued in July, pinching the supply of inventory coming into the secondary market from the new truck side of the industry down to a mere trickle, according to the “State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks” report from ACT Research.
“Unable to take delivery of new trucks when originally planned, new truck buyers are hanging on to units they had planned to trade. And of course, those new trucks have had their production hampered by pervasive part shortages,” Steve Tam, vice president at ACT, said in a release.
“Owing to the scarcity, particularly in a strong demand environment, used truck prices continued to increase in July. Looking ahead, pricing will most likely peak around mid-year 2022, based on expected economic/freight activity and forecast supply and demand,” Tam said.
By the numbers, preliminary used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) dropped 3% month-over-month and 19% year-over-year in July, ACT found. The data is derived from a sample of industry data, including the average selling price for top-selling Class 8 models for each of the major truck OEMs – Freightliner (Daimler); Kenworth and Peterbilt (Paccar); International (Navistar); and Volvo and Mack (Volvo).
As those sales volumes dropped, prices rose steeply—compared to July of 2020, the average price was 45% higher, even though average miles and age each climbed 1%. And on a year-to-date basis, the average price of a used truck sold in July was 31% above its year-ago level for the first seven months of 2020, ACT said.
Mirroring that news about truck sales, the supply of trailers also remained hobbled by capacity issues in July, ACT said in another study.
“Material and component supplies, as well as staffing issues, continue to generate headwinds for US trailer OEMs,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. “Concerns about future availability and pricing are major factors in the unwillingness of OEMs to accept future orders, which is causing uncertainty about the timing of the ‘official’ opening of the 2022 orders. In turn, meaningful pent-up demand is occurring due to the reluctance to accept dry van and reefer orders at this time, with the average industry backlog-to-build ratio extending to the end of Q1’22, at June 2021 build rates.”
ACT Research: Used Truck Prices Rise As Secondary Market Inventory Trickleshttps://t.co/qqxaapOwBl— ACT Research (@actresearch) August 16, 2021