Most goods move the last mile on an 18-wheeler, so freight traffic, and with it orders for Class 8 semi’s that haul the stuff are seen as real-time measures of the health of the economy.
If truck orders are any indication, things aren’t going well.
Compared with 2018, Class 8 truck orders dropped 71% in May, 70% in June, and 81% in July, and 79% in August. The trend is clear, and it’s ugly.
Except for April, monthly orders in 2019 have been lower than orders in every year since 2014.
Peak truck orders were placed in July and August of 2018, at more than 50,000 per month. Last month, the industry reported just under 11,000 orders.
The glut of trucks on the market is expected to crest in 2020.