Trucking operators profiting from rising U.S. domestic shipping demand in turn are boosting sales and profits at truck and engine makers and technology firms.
That means more orders and sales of heavy trucks and trailers and greater demand for technology that makes vehicles and carriers safer and more efficient. Truckload giant Schneider National, for example, last month said it would buy 2,500 OnGuard anti-collision systems from Meritor Wabco for all its Class 8 vehicles.
Wabco Holdings cited the deal with Schneider in the U.S. as one factor in its 9 percent increase in global sales in the fourth quarter to $672 million. The manufacturer increased net profit 8 percent year-over-year to $69.8 million.
For the full year, Wabco recovered from a 2010 loss of $214.2 million, reporting a $368.2 million profit. The company’s revenue rose 28.4 percent to $2.8 billion.
Diesel engine maker Cummins had a banner year. Net profit leaped 77.9 percent to $1.85 billion in 2011 while Cummins’ revenue rose 36 percent to $18 billion.
The Columbus, Ind.-based manufacturer’s fourth quarter net profit increased 51.4 percent to $548 million on a 19 percent jump in revenue to $4.9 billion. Engine sales in the fourth quarter totaled $3.1 billion, powered by North American demand for on-highway diesel engines and oil and gas engines for mining.
Paccar more than doubled its net profit in 2011 to $1.04 billion as sales of its Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks pushed revenue up 59 percent to $16.3 billion.
The Bellevue, Wash., manufacturer’s fourth quarter profit rose 93 percent year-over-year to $327.7 million. Revenue rose 58 percent to $4.9 billion.
Although Daimler Trucks has not released its full-year financial results, its global truck orders were up 26 percent and sales 15 percent through November. In North America, Daimler received orders for 124,400 trucks in the first 11 months of 2011, its best result since 2006 and an 81 percent increase year-over-year.
“Production at Daimler Trucks plants around the world will remain at full capacity into the first quarter of 2012,” Daimler Trucks said at the end of 2011.
In North America, Daimler produces Freightliner and Western Star trucks.