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GSCW keynote: ACT Research’s Vieth breaks down ‘everything shortage’

This keynote recap from Auto Day of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week focuses on the underlying causes of the supply chain crisis.

KEYNOTE TOPIC: Working around and through the “everything shortage.”

DETAILS: Kenny Vieth may not have coined the term, but the president and senior analyst at ACT Research has popularized the “everything shortage” to describe the backdrop his firm uses to track automotive supply chain disruptions led by semiconductor shortages. The inability of truck manufacturers to see what will disappear next or work around employee absences from COVID has led to massive backlogs and the near doubling of used truck prices in auctions.  

SPEAKER: Vieth is the president and senior analyst at ACT Research.

BIO: Vieth joined ACT Research in 1991 following six years in city government and education. He became a partner in 2000 and was named president in 2010. Vieth oversees commercial vehicle analysis and forecasting as the principal heavy-vehicle market analyst. He advises truck manufacturers, suppliers, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve and is a frequent contributor to the Beige Book report.


“The industry found itself with significantly more promises for builds in 2021 than they could deliver. So we saw in the fourth quarter the OEMs were basically canceling orders that they were unable to build in 2021 and placing those exact same orders for those exact same customers with build slots in 2022.”

“In at least some cases, trucks changed hands between OEMs and dealers with some pieces missing. We’ve heard challenges with mirrors, without passenger seats, without window actuators. The good news is they have engines, transmissions, wheels and tires. But there are various and sundry components that are still playing catchup.”

“Certainly the trucking companies wanted to get their trucks on their books for 2021 because the truckers made so much money that they wanted something to write off against all that free cash they accrued over the course of the year.”