"It's Probably Nothing": January Truck Orders Collapse 48%

Tyler Durden's picture

We have previously shown just how bad the situation in the US heavy trucking space - trucks with a gross weight over 33K pounds - was most recently in "US Trucking Has Not Been This Bad Since The Financial Crisis" in which we looked at November data and found, that "Class 8 truck net orders at 16,475, were 59% below a year ago and the lowest level since September 2012.  This was the weakest November order activity since 2009 and was a major disappointment, coming in significantly below expectations.  All of the OEMs, except one, experienced unusually low orders for the month."

For those who missed the proverbial wheels falling of the heavy trucks, so to speak, the charts below do the situation justice:

So with 2015 in the history books, and as we start 2016 where the base effect was supposed to make the annual comps far more palatable, we just got the latest, January data. In short: the drop continues to be one of Great Recession proportions, manifesting in yet another massive 48% collapse in truck orders in the first month of the year as demand appears to have gone in a state of deep hibernation.  From Reuters:

U.S. January Class 8 truck orders fell 48 percent on the year, preliminary data from freight transportation forecaster FTR showed, indicating that 2016 could be another weak year for truck makers.


FTR estimated that orders for the heavy trucks that move goods around America's highways totaled 18,062 units in January. This follows on from a full-year decline in 2015 of nearly 25 percent to 284,000 units from 276,000.

"It is not looking to be a strong year," for the market, FTR chief operating officer Jonathan Starks said in a statement. 


Amid uncertainty over U.S. economic growth and a lackluster performance for retailers in the fourth quarter, trucking companies have been holding back on buying new models

As a reminder, unlike trains, which one can say are used to transport oil and coal, Class 8 trucks make up the backbone of U.S. trade infrastructure and logistics: what they represent is both domestic and global trade. Or in this the devastating collapse thereof.

Should one be concerned by this precipitous drop? Absolutely not: as the Federal Reserve would certainly say "it's probably nothing" and blame it on the weather.

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EscapeKey's picture

clearly, much like the BDI (setting yet another all-time low today @ 310) - it's due to oversupply of trucks.

wee-weed up's picture



But Obozo said at the SOTU speech that the economy was "trucking' right along" just fine.

Did he lie to us yet again?

More Ammo's picture

He just peddled some fiction...

knukles's picture

It's "transitory"
Gte it?  Trainsit-tory?  Hah ha ha ha ha ha

MagicHandPuppet's picture

ha. It's the weather;  it's been too hot and too cold at the same time.

Father Thyme's picture
Father Thyme (not verified) MagicHandPuppet Feb 3, 2016 4:12 PM

Seeking Goldilocks weather!

WTFRLY's picture

lololololol good, fuckin shit on it.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Drive-By Truckers: Never Gonna Change

Let this be a lesson to you girl: Don't come around where you know you don't belong.
They're riding on the avenue and probably coming after you and they all look mean and strong.
Mean and strong like liquor.
Mean and strong like fear.
Strong like the people from South Alabama and mean like the people from here.
Take it from me... We ain't never gonna change.

Daddy used to empty out his shotgun shells and fill 'em full of black-eyed peas.
He'd aim real low and tear out your ankles or rip right through your knees.
There ain't much traffic on the highway. There ain't much traffic on the lake.
The ATF and the ABI got everything they could take.
Take it from me... They didn't take it from me.

We ain't never gonna change.
We ain't doin' nothin' wrong.
We ain't never gonna change
so shut your mouth and play along.

I thought about going in the army. I thought about going overseas.
I wouldn't have trouble with a piss test; only problem is my bad left knee.
My brother got picked up at Parker's, got him a ride in a new Crown Vic.
They said that he was movin' on a federal level but they couldn't really make it stick.
Take it from me...

We ain't never gonna change.
We ain't doin' nothin' wrong.
We ain't never gonna change
so shut your mouth and play along.

You can throw me in the Colbert County jailhouse.
You can throw me off the Wilson Dam
but there ain't much difference in the man I wanna be and the man I really am.

We ain't never gonna change.



Offthebeach's picture

You might of thought you would need tractor trailers for transport to mall FEMA camps, but it's cheaper just to march you around, no food, water, no shelter, until you drop and get that last final Obamacare injection.

As the old seminary student said, "No man, no problem".

petar's picture

After the death of the auto industry in Detroit, the death of the trucking industry is coming to the end and it is gonna drown Chicago.

Goliath Slayer's picture
Goliath Slayer (not verified) MagicHandPuppet Feb 3, 2016 4:32 PM

All the money's flowing in ONE direction <<<>>> https://goo.gl/bFYusM

Temporalist's picture

(Don't) put the peddle to the metal.

peddling-fiction's picture

He inspired me to start peddling some more.

Ward cleaver's picture

I think Hillary would make a great driver if it wasn't for her fat ass and pants suit getting dirty. She could stop at one of those places where all the truckers congregate for some nice puss.

silver surfer's picture

"it's due to oversupply of trucks."

... which is due to mall-investment and lack of demand, which is due to cheep credit, which is due to low interest rates, which is due to stupid economists, corrupt politicians, stupid voters, delusional central planners and greedy bankers....and on and on we go

actionjacksonbrownie's picture

This all sounds like "Green Shoots" to me.

knukles's picture

No no no no no no no NO!
It's proof that those "heuristic" and "hedonic" adjustments to inflation data are truly accurate and meaningful as the new trucks last a lot longer than the old trucks which is why nobody need new trucks nor can afford them, capiche!

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

I was talking to a business associate today and they said they had a bulk liquid commodity railcar shortage about 2 months back that is persisting until now.  I put two and two together and feel that the commodities are not selling so businesses are using them as cheap storage...but the supply is drying up so eventually they will have to sell the commdoities or the businesses will have to slow down.


The end is very near for this cycle...one way or another.

NEOSERF's picture

Trains, trucks, planes and Baltic Dry all pointing to a DEEP recession.  Automobiles are all fine, why wouldn't they be when they are giving out 3%, 96 month loans on the only thing that someone with 560 credit score can buy that makes them feel good?

lincolnsteffens's picture

A friend of mine drives a truck hauling waste to dump. I asked him if he noticed any slow down in volume. He said over the last few months it has declined about 25%! 

mt paul's picture

solid leading indicator

the amount of garbage
a decadent society generates ...

Ward cleaver's picture

Truckin, got my chips cashed in; knocked down like a bowling pin

Arnold's picture

You told me good bye...

How was I to know...


(I've been havin' a hard time livin' the good life...)


indygo55's picture

Didnt we send like thousands of trucks to Turkey for Russia to bomb? They went through Houston I believe through BECTEL? Landed in Turkey and then trucked all that oil to Turkey so Erdogens kid could sell it to Israel. Right?

Mark Mywords's picture
Mark Mywords (not verified) Feb 3, 2016 3:55 PM

DJIA above 16,000. S&P not far from 1900. So, it's nothing.

spiral galaxy's picture

Yeah! Believe it!? In light Deutche bank derivative exposures, China currency manipulation, Japanese zirp, weak service index, weak ISM, and now trucking! ....not to mention geo political .... The Dow manages a total reversal for a positive 180 points??!!? Manipulated much or what? /s

The central planners's picture

Correction: Japanese NIRP and its doing a shit

bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

You might want to think about that for a second. Then look in the history books to a time like today but with different numbers on the boards.
You may find that the value never changed only the numbers.
Price is not value, value is need +time. As your needs change so does price. By the time you need something you will be priced out of it.

Iconoclast421's picture

Reefer trucks got their own category now? Heh...


Blame it on low fuel prices instead of the weather. The CB used that 'weather' argument for the last two years. Low fuel prices sounds better IMHO.

kliguy38's picture

Weather was too nice

Rainman's picture

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign ... TRAN down only 9% ytd

Countrybunkererd's picture

I promise this is correct.  I personally know a few dozen truck drivers.  Some have had their truck parked since the first week of Dec. 2015.  Many are getting out or going bankrupt soon.  Wait till the new electronic log books arrive!!!  Don't forget to flush and blow out the candle before you lock up and leave.

Countrybunkererd's picture

And wear you assbelt, it will be bumpy, very very bumpy, and you don't want to lose your ass!

One4Liberty's picture

Several blogs are asking their readers to send in photos and anecdotes of resupply hiccups, empty shelves, etc.  It's subtle for now, but it's out there.

mt paul's picture

north of the alaska range
2 weeks ago there were large gaps on the shelves in grocery store
rumor was a barge hauling freight north had been delayed
back to normal now, strange days

khnum's picture

Whilst a decline in sales is a problem a bigger problem is inventories dealers only get so long to sell a vehicle before they have to refinance it if there are big inventories it could be a major problem

ghengiskhan's picture

I know three trucking companies that relied heavily on scrap metal hauling.  Their shipments have at least been cut by 60%.  The recycling companies they service can't pay their invoices.  This is just one aspect.  Heavy haulers are on life support thanks to the Oil collapse.  We have only just begun this spiral.

hendrik1730's picture

Yep, trucking Cies are sooo busy hauling stuff they have no time left to order new ones. People are buying so much goods at mortar-and-brick retailers causing shelving to run empty. The big Obama-boom is here!

yogibear's picture

Laying off more Americans and replacing them with people from overseas with  H1Bs, L1s and H2B visa holders should fix the problem.  (sarc)