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U.S. Auctioneers Sees Highest Prices Ever on Used Trucks, Equipment

Mon July 19, 2021 - National Edition

U.S. Auctioneers, nationwide auction company specializing in the trucking industry, has been in business since 1988, selling truck tractors, trucks, trailers and related equipment. The company conducts auctions of all sizes, whether it be a complete liquidation, partial liquidation, estate settlement or general consignment.

Everything the company sells is sold at auction. U.S. Auctioneers has been working with Proxibid as its online auction platform provider for the past few years. All auctions have been taking place online, since COVID began.

Auctioneer Josh Jackson of U.S. Auctioneers has been in the auction business for more than 20 years. "These are the strongest prices I've ever seen," he said. "Prices are the highest they've ever been on used equipment."

He said the demand for used equipment is up. Why? There are manufacturing shortfalls and a shortage of materials, such as parts needed to build new trucks and trailers, causing the production of new equipment to lag. Class 8 truck orders are backlogged until 2022, said Heavy Duty Trucking.

Production can't keep up with demand, said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles for FTR. "Carriers need more trucks on the road now, but semiconductor and other component shortages continue to restrict production."

"Freight is growing at a brisk pace, but the supply chain bottlenecks slow the flow of new trucks coming off the production line," Ake continued.

Further contributing to the shortage of new equipment is the price of steel, aluminum and rubber, which also have spiked as the economy kicks back into gear.

Buyers are turning to used equipment to get what they need and save time, in addition to saving money.

"We've seen lots of interest in buying used equipment," said Jackson. "Prices are up on everything across the board. Supply and demand are driving them up."

Jackson expects the trend to continue, as there are lots of goods to be moved as people are getting back to work — and factories need time to catch up with the pent-up demand.

Jackson said he's seen prices up on everything from class 8 heavy-duty trucks to all types of trailers, including low boys, hopper bottoms and more.

"I think there's going to continue to be quite a demand for used equipment," said Jackson. "I don't see this as a short-term trend, but it can be unpredictable."

With the lag in building new equipment, and parts suppliers impacted heavily by the pandemic, experts think this could continue for the foreseeable future.

"The difference between the big crunch of 2021 and past supply disruptions is the sheer magnitude of it, and the fact that there is — as far as anyone can tell — no clear end in sight," said an article in Bloomberg Businessweek.

The U.S. economic indicator known as the Logistics Managers' Index, a gauge built on a monthly survey of corporate supply chiefs asking where they see inventory, transportation and warehouse expenses now and in 12 months, is at its second-highest level in records dating back to 2016. The future gauge shows little respite a year from now.

Companies also are overbuying to avoid running out of materials, according to those who study these trends. This creates even more of a shortage.

As for U.S. Auctioneers, Jackson said they are continuing to hold auctions and seeing record-high bids.

"Selling used equipment is what we specialize in, so we're conducting business as usual. We understand prices could drop again, and things could take a dive — but used equipment is always a good investment."

U.S. Auctioneers holds live virtual online auctions regularly via Proxibid's platform.

This story also appears on Truck and Trailer Guide.

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