A newly released report suggests that trucking companies are more optimistic about their industry heading into 2017.
The trucking sector struggled with weak demand and excess capacity in recent months, but The Wall Street Journal reports that orders for large trucks increased in November compared to the same month in 2015 — the first month-over-month jump in 20 months.
The Journal cited a report from FTR Transportation Intelligence, which found that trucking companies ordered 19,300 long-haul trucks known as Class 8 vehicles.
That number was 18 percent higher than November 2015 and 41 percent higher than October, when companies also cancelled orders at the highest rate in more than two decades.
The November report could indicate that fleet operators believe the market has bottomed out, but orders remained below normal and the dismal October numbers coincided with a crucial month for planning for the subsequent year.
Layoffs hit large truck manufacturers in recent months, and FTR analysts told the paper that "we’re expecting November production to be weak and the December production to be pretty bad."