North America has been an economic powerhouse for more than a century now.It has continued to be on top because US, Canada and Mexico are close-knit markets. This market has benefited from some disrupting innovations, the presence of skilled workers and a strong internal market. There is no other industry apart from trucking which has benefited more from NAFTA which came into effect 23 years ago. The truck manufacturers, fleet operators grew more than 4 times ever since this agreement got underway.
Seamless freight movement is what fuels mega economies. In North America, more than 66% of the trade between the participating countries i.e US, Canada and Mexico happens via Trucks. Other modes of transportation like rail, air and pipeline cumulatively combined carry only the remaining 34% of the freight. Trucks also have a major role in multi-modal shipments, mostly providing first and last mile connectivity to factories and warehouses.
Strength in manufacturing, growing retail sales, and a slowly improving housing market are the biggest drivers of class 8 truck market. But, there are also a lot of headwinds. The fleet operators in North America have a tough job cut out on their hands. The industry is grappling with technician shortage, rising lifetime equipment ownership costs, driver shortage, upcoming GHG-2 emission and ELD mandate.
As long-haul freight continues to reduce of late, there has been a growing list of trucking companies who are opting for lower Class trucks to get their goods delivered. With digitization of supply chain, there has been a spurt in regionalisation of freight to fulfill orders in shorter times. Earlier,a truckload carrier would wait till the trailer reached its optimal capacity, now there is no time to wait. This is prompting small fleet operators, typically having 5-6 Class 8 tractors to move down a few classes and get more vehicles to augment their fleet size. This will act as a major challenge to this market.
- Diesel powertrain has long dominated the trucking Industry as the most preferred propulsion choice. However, with the evolution of lithium-ion battery, mostly driven by the development of electric car market, electric trucks seem like the obvious next thing.
- The idea of autonomous trucks is getting popular with every passing day but to some, it might seem far-fetched and that’s where the concept of truck platooning comes in. The idea of getting goods delivered by four trucks but utilizing only one driver is actually an irresistible proposition.
- In 2017, the penetration of Collision mitigation system in Class 8 trucks in the US was around 26%, compared to less than 10% in 2014.The market leader, Daimler is seeing ADAS fitment rate of 63% in the 2018 Freightliner Cascadia
- There is a growing amount of electrification in the powertrain of Class 8 trucks. There are a lot of applications where the trucks spend a bulk of their time on a fixed route(Ex- refuse collection) or being stationary(Ex-construction site). They are an ideal application for hybridization
- The long haul class 8 trucks typically cruise at around ~1100 RPM at 65 mph but the future targets for the same speed are in the range of ~900 RPM. Engine downsizing, will be useful in every possible application if the downsized engine is making as much power and torque as it was making earlier, only with less fuel required now.
The Class 8 truck market in North America is fairly consolidated with only 5 companies making up for complete pie. Daimler is the undoubted leader in the Class 8 truck North American Market. It has held the no 1 tag for more than a decade now. Freightliner has been the unanimous choice of fleet operators across North America ,as it is cheap to buy, easy to maintain and commands a reasonable resale price even after 5 years/400K miles on the odometer. The market leader is actively pursuing autonomous technology and truck platooning in Oregon. It has also stated that the first version of the truck platooning system will have two trucks with active steering capability for the rear truck. It is also keen on launching an autonomous system before 2020.
THIS REPORT WILL ANSWER FOLLOWING QUESTIONS
- The market size (both volume and value) of Class 8 truck market in North America in 2017-2022 and every year in between?
- The impact of upcoming mandates on class 8 truck market.
- The market size and forecast segmented by end-use segments (Vocational and Line haul)
- The market size and forecast segmented by fuel type (Diesel and Natural gas)
- Market share of OEMs in both vocational and linehaul segments
- Future growth plans of Truck manufacturers
- Latest trends in all truck segments
- Will electric and autonomous class 8 trucks really happen?
- Will regional haul overshadow long haul?
- The impact of renegotiation of NAFTA on Class 8 truck market.