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Will the trucking industry rebound this year?

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The trucking industry will rebound during the second half of 2010, which will lead to increased demand for new commercial vehicles next year, according to ACT Research Co., which analyzes the North American trucking industry.

ATC projects that Class 8 truck production will grow by 18%, "largely due to stronger orders late in 2009 in advance of new Environmental Protection Agency emission mandate engines.

"With fundamentals expected to improve in the truckload market by mid-year, demand is expected to increase into the end of 2010. Medium-duty vehicle (Classes 5-7) production, which is largely tied to the health of the housing market, is expected to see a more steady, gradual increase through 2010 and 2011."

"As we have been saying for months, a series of events is required to put commercial vehicle production on more solid footing, and those events continue to play out," says Kenny Veith, ACT senior analyst. "With a modestly improving economy and used truck values moving higher, finance firms appear less interested in using forbearance to keep vulnerable carriers alive.

"When you combine increased carrier bankruptices with record large fleet capacity reduction efforts, the truckload sector is forecast to see freight volumes outstripping tractor supply by mid-year, which will set the stage for dramatic improvements for both trucking and commercial vehicle demand."

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