The Big Picture: What Drove Shifting Trucking Values Over the Last 12 Months?

 In Price Digests Blog

We’ve seen a lot of volatility in commercial truck prices over the last year. As we’ve noted in previous blogs, supply chain challenges and high demand have been key drivers for higher prices and market volatility. But there’s more to the story. The commercial trucking market was influenced by many factors, from fuel pricing to growing fleet sizes.   

 In the 2022 Price Digests Truck Market Report, we examine the many factors that influenced truck values and buying decisions in the last year. My colleague, Sam Pierce, points out that, “Covid 19 is still a factor, however as businesses recover and move into our post covid economy, we see prices stabilizing. We expect prices to remain higher than previous years at least for the next year or so as new truck supplies remain limited.” Volatility has become the norm in recent years, and this data will help you plan for the months ahead.  

 To uncover trucking market trends, we analyzed our proprietary data and additional data points gathered from trusted sources. Here are a few highlights from the report.

 

Sky-High Fuel Prices Put Owners Under Pressure  

Fuel prices, which rose sharply in mid-2022, cut into profit margins and dramatically increased shipping costs. In August 2022, diesel prices reached $6.29 per gallon, a 26.5% increase over the previous year. Northeastern states saw the steepest increases, after being at the lower end of the price spectrum in August 2021. This increase put fleet owners under pressure, especially for owners of less fuel-efficient trucks. 

 

The Number of Fleets Rose 

Despite these challenges, high demand for shipping and transportation drove an increase in the number of fleets. In 2022, there were 8% more fleets on the road compared to 2021. Owners also hired more drivers per fleet, with the exception of drivers for light/medium/heavy trucks and light/medium trucks. 

With More Trucks on the Road, Hiring Became a Serious Challenge 

In a recent blog, we talked about the changes in the trucking labor market over the past couple of years. One of the trends we uncovered was that, in 2021, the number of people looking for trucking jobs hit a new low. Over the past year, fleet sizes and the number of drivers per fleet increased, and owners found themselves in a serious labor crunch.   

To compete for candidates, many owners raised salaries. Between August 2021 and June 2022, average salary increased from $68,000 to $81,000. To attract and retain quality employees, many fleet owners also invested in more trucks, further driving demand.

 

Are Values Finally Leveling Out? 

With so many factors driving truck availability, it’s no surprise that prices and other key metrics, such as age and usage, increased sharply. For example, in Q2 2022, average prices for medium duty trucks reached $57,900, the highest rate seen over the last two years. Average age was also up to 7.7 years compared to 6.6 years in Q1 2020. 

However, these numbers were relatively steady compared to the previous quarter. After a long period of rising costs, things may finally be leveling out.

 

Dive Deeper into Trucking Market Insights 

The full report dives deeper into the factors driving the market and how truck values have shifted over the last year. Download the 2022 Price Digests Truck Market Report to learn more. 

About Price Digests

Since 1911 Price Digests has served the vehicle data needs of the insurancefinancegovernment, and dealer markets through its portfolio of VIN decoding, specifications, and market value data solutions for the commercial truckpassenger vehiclemarinepowersport, and recreational vehicle asset classes. Our data + intelligence solutions pave roads to faster and better decisions with perfect-fit data delivery, whether it’s seamlessly integrated APIs, online subscriptions or custom data delivery.

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