It’s interesting to note that though the economy is still experiencing quite a downturn, there are signs that recovery is not inconceivable, nor is it as far off as critics of the current administration would have you believe. Admittedly, the numbers are not as heartening as they could be, but things are improving.
Which numbers am I speaking of? There are two answers, really. The first is the fact that this July saw a massive increase in the number of new heavy-duty trucks sold, an increase that not only makes July the record month for 2010, but shows an increase of 27.8 percent over the number sold in July of 2009. On the one hand, 2009 was one of the worst years within the last quarter century, so that’s not saying all that much.
Which brings me to a more heartening fact. The Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates shows that the freight volume is showing as much as a 15 percent annual increase. While some analysts have noted that the increases may be due to something as simple as backlogs due to the recession finally clearing, and others have stated that a number of retailers may be shipping earlier in the year to prevent just such a bottleneck from occurring, this doesn’t change these facts. More freight is coming through shipyards than this time last year, and as a likely result, more truckers are going to be getting work shipping the freight where it needs to go.
For those trucking companies out there who have not been contributing to a larger increase in new trucks being bought, I have both an observation and a word of caution. The fact that not as many new trucks are being bought has a rather obvious correlation: there are more older trucks being put on the road than there were, and older things wear out.