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The average March retail price of a used Class 8 vehicle topped the $100,000 mark for the first time, ACT Research reported.
“It was $101,736,” ACT Vice President Steve Tam told Transport Topics. “A year earlier, it was $53,412. Not quite double, but damn close.
The previous record was set in February at $94,321.
Total sales also increased.
ACT estimated used Class 8 sales in March were 25,200, down from 23,800 a year earlier. In February, sales were 21,900.
“We get a lot of phone calls from people wanting to know if this is going to continue,” Tam said.
“We’re seeing freight growth becoming a little less robust than it’s been during this crazy cycle,” Tam said. And while opinions vary on what the new economic details entail, this new question mark “is something that undermines people’s previous thoughts and actions.”
Tam said wholesale markets, or dealers buying from and selling to other dealers, are starting to pick up; and inventory turnover is slowing down, so it takes a little longer to move the equipment dealers have.
The market for much older, higher mileage trucks continues to decline, which Tam mentioned in ACT’s February report. “So it’s a continuation and a confirmation.”
Eventually, this trend will move up the “food chain” to newer, lower-mileage gear, he said. “But we are months away from an event like that.”
The average price for 3-year-old trucks jumped to $151,811 from $96,759 a year earlier. “I don’t think there’s much room left to run [in this segment].” The March price was essentially flat with February’s average price at $151,850.
The average mileage for a Class 8 sold in March was 429,000 compared to 422,000 a year ago, according to ACT. The average age remained the same as a year earlier, at 6 years and 4 months.
Each month, ACT surveys a sample of dealers, wholesalers and auctioneers as well as a few large fleets to determine average price, age and mileage, as well as estimated industry volumes.
Chris Visser, principal commercial truck analyst at JD Power Valuation Services, wrote in a recent report: “For more than a year, we have been discussing the various factors keeping the freight market overheated and predicting what could cause a possible cooling . Based on published freight volume and price data, it is evident that the freight environment is undergoing a degree of maturation.
Still, while used truck sales per rooftop dealership are 20-25% lower than he would expect in a typical economy, Visser wrote that this lower percentage is solely due to insufficient supply. trucks for sale, not a lack of demand.
David Jackson, CEO of Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc., said on the company’s latest earnings call that operational pressures are mounting, especially for smaller carriers and new entrants.
“The cost of everything is going up, especially for those that don’t have economies of scale, especially for smaller carriers that we might be competing with,” Jackson said. “The cost per kilometer has increased irreversibly in many ways, in many areas.”
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Jackson noted that his fleet isn’t selling its used trucks at the normal rate it’s used to because it can’t replace them with all the new trucks it needs. .
“And the limited number of used trucks that we sell, in some cases we sell them for as much or close to what we paid for them new before putting 450,000 or 500,000 miles on the trucks,” a- he declared. “And so that creates a whole new problem if the economy goes into a bit of a dip and the banks decide not to be so aggressive in funding. I would say looking at what’s happening with the equipment is maybe the most valuable thing we can watch for the crystal ball for a full charge.
Meanwhile, JB Hunt Transport Services reported about $18 million in equipment sales gains in the first quarter, “which are atypical for us,” chief financial officer John Kuhlow said on the earnings call. the society. “We had very few transactions last year as we own most of our equipment to support our organic growth.” He offered no further comment.
JB Hunt also reported that its truckload segment ended the first quarter with 709 company-owned tractors, up from 798 a year earlier. Independent contractors supplied 1,527 tractors compared to 918 a year earlier.
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