The market for freight shipping is red hot. Trucking companies are buying more new rigs in January than they have in the last twelve years. The pick up in freight shipping has created a shortage of available capacity, and prices are going up. Companies are willing to invest more in their fleets at higher prices, and so more trucks are being purchased. Jennifer Smith and Bob Tita write at The Wall Street Journal:
In January, North American trucking companies ordered 48,700 heavy-duty trucks, the big rigs used for regional and long-haul routes, according to a preliminary report from ACT Research. That is more than double the prior-year level.
Some fleets hope to lure drivers by investing in new vehicles with features such as automated manual transmissions, which are easier to drive. Newer trucks typically get more miles a gallon of diesel, helping offset the impact of rising diesel prices.
“We’re seeing the big fleets come back and modify their orders, and kick them up a little bit,” said Rick Reynolds, chief executive of Peach State Truck Centers LLC, which has 11 dealerships in Georgia and Alabama. “Trucking capacity is getting tighter, and this is obviously driving people to get new product and meet that demand.”
Read more here.