Soaring demand for truck tractors and other transportation assets caused unprecedented price acceleration in the sector in 2021, reported USA-based auctioneer Ritchie Bros.

Port congestion, Covid-related reduced workforce capacity, and continued driver shortages have hampered the industry’s ability to transport goods. Meanwhile, manufacturers faced headwinds producing trucks and meeting demand. For example, the volume of truck tractors (tandem axle) sold in the USA in 2021 dropped by 37 percent from 2020 levels – from more than 17,800 to over 11,100 trucks.

“We attracted a record number of bidders in 2021, resulting in the strongest pricing we have ever seen,” said Doug Olive, senior vice president (pricing), Ritchie Bros. “Truck tractor pricing at the end of the year was up 65 percent year over year while vocational trucks were up 44 percent in the USA. It’s a seller’s market and consignors around the world are taking advantage by turning their surplus trucks and trailers into cash.”

Doug Rusch, managing director of Rouse Sales, added: “In mid to late 2020, used equipment pricing started to increase, and since then, we’ve seen a steady uptick in values month-in and month-out. Since January 2019, auction values for used truck tractors are up 77 percent and vocational trucks up 27 percent. The retail channel has also shown improvement for truck tractors, up 38 percent since January 2019.”