ACT Research: Heavy-Duty Vehicle Demand Hotter Than Supply Can Match

ACT Research Co.
3 min readMar 22, 2021

According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, supply will be the determining factor of this year’s heavy-duty vehicle market, not demand, which remains red hot.

The report, which combines proprietary ACT data and analysis from a wide variety of sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report is designed as a quick look at transportation insights for use by fleet and trucking executives, reviewing top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy and medium duty segments, the US trailer market, used truck sales information, and an overview of the US macro economy.

“All the indicators we use to track the heavy-duty truck market point to extraordinarily strong demand conditions,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “So much so that sales volumes this year will be determined on the supply side, by the ability of the manufacturers to keep up with customer demand for product.” Vieth added, “Barring an adverse surprise on COVID or some other front, a possibility that can’t be dismissed, even at this early stage of the year, significant growth from last year is assured.”

Regarding the year-long, to date, COVD impact on the trucking industry, Vieth noted, “The mad scramble for capacity by fleets and even vocational operators is multi-dimensional — for trucks, for drivers, even for fuel — and has its origin in the COVID shock of 2020. But ironically, the robust V-shaped recovery in goods spurred by the pandemic was the trigger for the capacity crunch.” He concluded, “Certain aspects of this business cycle recovery have been unique, with significant impacts on transportation and heavy-duty truck demand. The singular nature of COVID means this cycle does not fit neatly into historical patterns.”

ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at

ACT’s commercial electric vehicle study, Charging Forward: 2020–2024 BEV & FCEV Forecast & Analysis, is due to publish March 31, 2021, after months of extensive research. Utilizing industry expertise and analysis, as well as the input from a comprehensive list of key industry study participants, ACT Research has developed a critical guide for battery electric and fuel cell electric unit build and sales forecasts over the next two decades. With coverage of Classes 4–8 commercial vehicles, ACT has identified 14 market subsegments and more than 20 application types; this one-of-a-kind report is a must-have for those investing or investigating electric power opportunities. To learn more or to purchase this report, go to

What’s coming next in 2021 and 2022? ACT’s 65th OUTLOOK Seminar is the planning event for your business needs. Mark your calendar for August 24–26, 2021 to gain market updates and forecasts from ACT’s award-winning, veteran team with more than 200 years of combined industry experience. Click here for more details.

Click here for information about ACT’s Transportation Digest.

For more information about additional ACT’s Transportation Publications and Services, click here



ACT Research Co.

ACT Research is the leader in commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis, and forecasting services for North America.