Economists are reporting positive news in housing, manufacturing and auto sales, which all have a positive impact on the commercial truck industry.
The more products and homes that are built means the more trucks that are needed and the demand for professionally trained drivers, like those from Diesel Driving Academy, has never been higher.
The housing market has gotten off to a strong start in 2012 and April’s housing starts were near the highest levels in over three years, giving many economists reasons to be optimistic.
“After bottoming in 2009, the U.S. housing sector has had little to no substantial growth; however, (last month’s) housing starts now show an increase for the first time in three months and, coupled with other indications of improved conditions, are suggesting a turn for the better,” said Jennifer Lee, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets.
Numbers have hit a two-month high of 717,000 units annualized in April (up 2.6 percent from March). The Midwest and the Southern states led the gains, significantly beating projected estimates and indicating that 2012 might be a rebound year for the housing industry.
The rise in housing starts is great news for the commercial trucking industry, which is the primary form of shipment for house construction related products. In fact, if trends continue, thousands of new trucks will be needed in addition to the thousands that are already in high demand.
Todd Fowler, an analyst in Cleveland at investment banking firm KeyBanc Capital Markets, told Bloomberg News that each new residence requires between five and eight truckloads to transport supplies such as lumber, roofing materials and interior furnishings. Flatbeds will likely be the first to benefit, moving lumber and other construction materials.
If the current rate of housing starts remained for the year it would require an additional 4,000 trucks to hit the road, Fowler said to Bloomberg News.
In addition to house construction, manufacturing, which makes up about 75 percent of total production, rose 0.6 percent in April, according to a TruckingInfo.com article. A report from the Commerce Department showed new orders for durable goods rose 0.2 percent in April and car sales in the first quarter were the strongest in four years.
These areas of growth in the economy are good news for the commercial trucking industry, which carries the bulk of the nation’s shipments. The trucking industry has already been experiencing rapid growth and the new reports indicate that growth is here to stay.