Trucking companies plan to spend more on new trucks and trailers in 2022, but supply chain problems threaten to constrain their efforts to expand freight-hauling capacity and revitalize their fleets. Therefore, executives at major trucking companies said following robust 2021 earnings reports that they planned to increase capital expenditures this year from around 30% to more than double last year’s total, signaling confidence that strong shipping demand and high freight rates in the U.S. market would continue.
Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., one of the country’s largest less-than-truck carriers, which allow multiple shippers to share space on the same truck, said it plans to raise capital expenditures by 50% in 2022 from last year to $825 million. That includes $485 million to buy tractors and trailers, up 79% from last year. Furthermore, the North American manufacturers produced 264,500 Class 8 trucks in 2021 but would have made as many as 330,000 if production hadn’t been hampered. Thus, the Columbus, Ind.-based transportation-data provider forecasts production will hit 300,000 vehicles in 2022, down from an estimate six months earlier than manufacturers would pump out 360,000 trucks this year.
Following these assertions, the vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR Transportation Intelligence, Don Ake, has estimated that manufacturers will fall 85,000 units short of meeting the demand for heavy-duty trucks in North America this year. This production won’t recover until 2023.