Inside Logistics

Commercial vehicle sales to hit double digit growth

E-commerce and overall freight movement increases pushing need for new trucks


July 30, 2021
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Commercial vehicle uptake is expected to hit double-digit growth from 2020 to 2021.

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis finds that the commercial vehicles industry, comprising light commercial vehicles (LCV) and medium and heavy-duty trucks (M&HDT), is on track for recovery as worldwide economic activities resume. The exponential growth of e-commerce and last-mile delivery push the demand for LCV, while the resumption of freight movement at ports and the revival of construction activities accelerate the sales of M&HD trucks globally.

The global LCV unit shipment is estimated to reach 12.6 million units in 2021 from 11.4 million units in 2020, at 10.3 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth. The M&HDT segment is projected to reach 3.4 million units in 2021 from 3.2 million units last year, an uptick at 5.9 percent YoY growth.

“The commercial vehicles industry is expected to undergo significant transformation in the next two to five years, boosted by the entry of tech-savvy start-ups leveraging big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to introduce solutionsĀ such asĀ telematics, advanced safety systems, and digital freight brokerage platforms,” said Marshall Martin, commercial mobility team leader at Frost & Sullivan.

“This will encourage original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), suppliers, and start-ups in the ecosystem to collaborate and develop future technologies, which are vital to developing greener trucks that are not only technologically feasible but also financially viable. In addition, battery manufacturing is poised to play a key role, given the tremendous increase in demand for Li-ion batteries. The biggest opportunities lie in battery and fuel cell technologies that ensure cleaner and sustainable commercial mobility.”

Regional trends

The research found that in North America the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies such as data analytics for fleet management and digital freight brokerage solutions for freight matching.

Latin America is embracing electrification quicker than expected, driven by the initiatives taken by local authorities to set up an electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem in the region.

In Europe start-ups in the space have emerged in recent years, posing investment opportunities to fuel rapid growth and nurture innovation to gain a competitive advantage.

Local players in China are leveraging the rapid advancement of big data and AI in the country and are pioneering work in autonomous freight hauling.

In India the major trend is the adoption of telematics among the larger fleets to ensure efficient asset management.