june2021 - 41

ECONOMI C OUTLOOK
ยป The general expectation is for TEA to
continue to expand through the rest of 2021.
177310394 | Pop Nukoonrat | Dreamstime
On the export side, there are two problems.
The first is the continued uncertainty of the
demand for our exports as our major trading
partners continue to fight the effects of COVID19.
The second problem is a corollary to the
import issue. Clogged ports lead to backlogs on
exports as those containers cannot get loaded
onto ships because the ships cannot unload
their cargoes. Exports are expected to grow
slowly over the balance of the year.
The final component of TEA is truckable
Economic
recovery
update
The current state of truckable
economic activity trends in
relation to COVID-19.
Much has transpired since the last Economic
Outlook column in April's issue of Fleet
Maintenance. Because there has been a great
deal of progress on how the economic and
public health aspects of COVID-19 are being
handled, as well as several other developments
that bear directly on the prospects for
the trucking economy, the topics of Truckable
economic activity (TEA), and the monthly utilization
report will continue.
By Robert Dieli
ECONOMIST, MACKAY & COMPANY
AND PRESIDENT, RDLB, INC.
MacKay & Company specializes in market research for
commercial trucking, construction equipment, and agricultural
machinery. The company provides strategic
research and analysis to vehicle and component manufacturers,
distribution and service channels, industry
associations, and private equity firms. With a long career
managing portfolios and coordinating domestic economic
forecasting programs, Dieli began RDLB, Inc. in 2001. In
this role, Dieli serves as an advisor to many firms in the
trucking, consulting, and financial services sectors. He is
also an economist with MacKay & Company.
TEA is the MacKay & Company metric used
to measure activity in the trucking economy.
It is made up of five major components; here is
what has happened to each of them during the
recession and what their likely performance
might be over the next several months.
The first and largest component of TEA is
truckable consumption. There has been an
almost complete recovery of activity in this area,
as the various stimulus measures combined
with the reopening of most venues where
consumers spend their income has brought it
back to near pre-COVID levels. The problem
going forward will be solving some issues with
the supply chain, especially at restaurants,
where getting the staffing and food back up to
levels that will support full occupancy is going
to take some time. The news here has been good,
however, and is expected to remain that way.
The next largest component of TEA is
truckable investment, which includes
items such as construction spending and
the purchase of capital goods. Also included
are business inventories. The news here has
also been good with construction activity,
especially residential construction activity
which is rebounding quickly. As is the case
with truckable consumption, there are some
supply chain issues starting to impinge on
activity. Manufacturers report shortages of
parts; construction firms report skyrocketing
materials prices, some of which are also
associated with shortages. Over the balance
of the year, activity is expected to continue
to move ahead, but interruptions caused by
supply chain issues are also anticipated.
Truckable imports and truckable exports
make up the next two segments of TEA, and
there are two different stories at work here.
Imports have surged to the point where there
are significant bottlenecks impeding the movement
of goods off of ships and onto trucks
and trains. There is simply not enough space
in most ports, and there is a shortage of the
chassis that are needed to move containers.
Import growth, therefore, has slowed.
government. Again, there are two stories. The
first is at the federal level where the current
budget, as well as the proposed infrastructure
program, are adding to activity and will continue
to do so for the rest of the year. On the state
and local level, things are less clear. Because
state and local governments are required to
maintain balanced operating budgets, and
because the full impact of COVID-19 on state
and local revenues is not yet known, it is difficult
to predict what the next set of budgets is
going to look like. Most states run on fiscal
years that end in the middle of the summer,
so there should be news on this before too long.
The general expectation is for TEA to continue
to expand through the rest of 2021. There
will be some bumps, but those will mostly be
the result of the multiple supply chain issues.
Capacity remains very
tight in the general
long-haul market
with both spotrates
and contract
prices continuing to
increase by as much
as 13 percent.
Aligning with the strength noted in TEA,
MacKay & Company recently released their
third quarter utilization report, DataPulse.
Highlighting utilization of medium and heavy
duty vehicles and trailers by vocation, fleet
size, and region, fleets report above-average
utilization in the first quarter but are cautiously
optimistic moving into the later part of 2021.
As the U.S. moves from winter into spring,
off-highway vocations such as construction
and agriculture are in full swing and report a
higher pace than initially expected. Capacity
remains very tight in the general long-haul
market with both spot-rates and contract
prices continuing to increase by as much as 13
percent. MacKay & Company will continue to
monitor the recovery and whether or not these
high levels of utilization will be sustainable.
June 2021 | FleetMaintenance.com
41
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june2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of june2021

Uptime: The path to predictive maintenance
Editor's Note: Using resources wisely
Equipment: Getting to the bottom of air brake system leaks
In the Bay: Commercial vehicle clutch care
Shop Operations: How digitizing driver communication can improve maintenance
Fluid & Filtration: Why fleets shouldn't skimp on oil filters
Technology Trends: Gaining an advantage
Management: KPI fundamentals
Economic Outlook: Economic recovery update
Fleet Parts & Components
Tools & Equipment
Classifieds
Guest editorial: Benefits of remote brake system monitoring
june2021 - 1
june2021 - 2
june2021 - 3
june2021 - 4
june2021 - 5
june2021 - 6
june2021 - 7
june2021 - Uptime: The path to predictive maintenance
june2021 - 9
june2021 - Editor's Note: Using resources wisely
june2021 - 11
june2021 - Equipment: Getting to the bottom of air brake system leaks
june2021 - 13
june2021 - 14
june2021 - 15
june2021 - 16
june2021 - 17
june2021 - In the Bay: Commercial vehicle clutch care
june2021 - 19
june2021 - 20
june2021 - 21
june2021 - 22
june2021 - 23
june2021 - Shop Operations: How digitizing driver communication can improve maintenance
june2021 - 25
june2021 - 26
june2021 - 27
june2021 - 28
june2021 - 29
june2021 - 30
june2021 - 31
june2021 - 32
june2021 - 33
june2021 - Fluid & Filtration: Why fleets shouldn't skimp on oil filters
june2021 - 35
june2021 - 36
june2021 - 37
june2021 - Technology Trends: Gaining an advantage
june2021 - 39
june2021 - Management: KPI fundamentals
june2021 - Economic Outlook: Economic recovery update
june2021 - Fleet Parts & Components
june2021 - 43
june2021 - Tools & Equipment
june2021 - 45
june2021 - 46
june2021 - 47
june2021 - 48
june2021 - Classifieds
june2021 - Guest editorial: Benefits of remote brake system monitoring
june2021 - 51
june2021 - 52
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