This week, there were two industry headlines that may bode well for the economy in 2012.
The first announced that in 2011, Class 8 (heavy duty) truck sales were the best since 2006. The total units sold were 171,358, compared to 107,152 in 2010 -- a significant improvement.
Secondly, according to the American Trucking Associations, 2011 motor carrier tonnage rose 5.9%, the largest gain in 13 years.
These two important indicators suggest we may be seeing an increase in shipping volume, as well as an effort by the carriers to beef up their capacity to deal with it. If we can keep these two trends balanced, rates may stabilize also. Of course, the elephant in the room is the price of fuel. As always, that can be a game changer.
Notwithstanding this, early signs are good, and to cautiously paraphrase Annie, "The Sun (May) Come Out Tomorrow."
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Do you agree with Cliff's sunny view? Please share your questions and comments.
Cliff Lynch is Principal of C.F. Lynch and Associates. With over 50 years of experience in supply chain management, he has authored a prolific collection of books and articles on the industry.
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