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Trucking Industry's 2018 Economic Forecast Looks Good

Multiple reports note that the trucking industry could have one of its best years ever. Predictions point to 2018 being a year of strong demand and tight capacity. This means that more trucks will be sold and more routes added to meet high demand. 

Freight Volume Continues to Climb

According to Trucks.com, freight volume is extremely high right now because of the boom in e-commerce. All the activity in online store sales has increased shipping volume, and this is a trend that's not likely to slow down anytime soon. With more and more online stores popping up, the need for more trucks and drivers will only increase as time goes on.

A large percentage of the new trucks getting on the road as a result of the high online sales are in the heaviest weight segment, Class 8. Trucks.com noted that Peterbilt expects to sell between 235,000 to 265,000 Class 8 trucks over the course of the year. 

All of the positive outlooks for the industry is not unfounded. 2017 was a good year and 2018 got off to a great start. Reuters noted that January saw the highest semi-truck orders since 2006. If that's not enough of an indication 2017 sales were up 77 percent over the same time in 2016. With that kind of boom, it's no wonder economic outlook is good. 

Regulatory Changes Help Drive Enthusiasm

Some of the excitement about 2018's trucking industry economic outlook revolves around the fact that Congress and the Trump administration are focused on tax reform that will benefit the trucking industry, according to Transport Topics. The current administration has also indicated that it wants to focus on infrastructure funding, which will only help matters. 

Steve Latin-Kasper, director of market data and research for the National Truck Equipment Association in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, told Transport Topics that consumers are expected to spend more in 2018, which means that trucking companies will need to invest in new equipment. Latin-Kasper said that all of the economic activity is good for all levels of the trucking industry but especially truck equipment suppliers and carriers. 

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