Author Archives: Don Ake

About Don Ake

Don has more than 20 years of experience in the transportation industry, including 16 years with industry supplier Hendrickson International. Don has a very strong forecasting and market analysis background. While at Hendrickson Don developed forecasting models, methods and processes to accurately forecast Truck and Trailer builds and product demand. Don wrote an industry economic newsletter and gained a reputation as a top industry analyst. His industry supplier background provides a "customer perspective" now that he is with FTR.

Ake’s (Final) Take: The Relentless Pursuit of Accuracy

By | September 27, 2022

The relentless pursuit of accuracy …… It can’t be the relentless pursuit of perfection because we are talking about forecasting, and perfect forecasts are as rare as winning the lottery. In October 2013, I became FTR’s Vice President of Commercial Vehicles. I had been considered an expert in the trailer market but was washed out… Read More »

Ake’s Take: How Demand Outpaced Supply

By | July 14, 2021

Mr. Demand and Mr. Supply were constantly jogging along the Economic Trail.  Most of the time, they ran in tandem, at about the same speed. But sometimes Mr. Supply ran ahead of Mr. Demand and often the roles were reversed. But then, they would instinctively adjust their pace to get back into balance once again.… Read More »

Ake’s Take: Retail Sales Are Vibrant – Where Is The Money Going?

By | May 25, 2021

The federal government has pumped $850 billion of direct stimulus payments to citizens in response to the pandemic (Peter G. Peterson Foundation). In combination with the COVID health mobility restrictions, this cash infusion resulted in changes in retail spending patterns. Since the pandemic started, there has been a surge in retail goods spending as consumers… Read More »

SOF TODAY | Ake’s Take: Are the Fears Inflated?

By | March 29, 2021

You’ve probably seen the headlines about some economists becoming increasingly concerned about inflation. So, should we be concerned?  (Note: please keep reading. This is not one of those in-depth analysis involving T-bills and yield-curves, but more of a big picture, horse-sense type of view.) Definitions The most basic definition of inflation is: Too many dollars… Read More »

Ake’s Take: The Economy Just Went Viral

By | March 10, 2020

  As 2019 progressed, economic growth slowed and there were more downside pressures than upside. In Q4, the commercial vehicle market abruptly turned south due to the great amount of uncertainty regarding the economy. Businesses abhor uncertainty because it makes planning difficult and greatly increases the risks of new investment. As a result, trucking fleets… Read More »

Ake’s Take: In 2020, 20K May Be The Key Number

By | January 15, 2020

The current state of the Class 8 truck market has fleets carefully evaluating their truck needs for the next few months and placing orders for delivery within that timeframe. OEMs can easily schedule production to deliver on time and suppliers are having few problems keeping pace. The Class 8 market is currently operating as a… Read More »