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4 Things to Watch in the Global Equipment Industry as Year-End Nears

17 Aug 2021  •  Olga Hall

Is it me or does time seem to go by faster every year? The whole, “time flies” statement is so cliché but also so true. It always amazes me how quickly a year goes by and, here we are, already finding ourselves in the middle of August.

This is an exciting time of year in the global equipment industry for several reasons. Whether agricultural or construction work, projects are in full swing and companies are already starting to think about year-end and planning ahead for next year. With that, it becomes important to assess the industry and the key factors that will drive equipment purchase decisions.

Let’s take a look at four of those key factors, breaking down what has happened this year and what to expect as 2021 comes to a close.

1. Equipment Availability  
It is no big secret at this point – manufacturers are struggling to keep up with new equipment demand. This is not limited to one area, it is affecting the global equipment industry. From components and steel prices to transport and labor, several industry challenges have resulted in lead times on equipment being the highest they have been in 35 years.

This shortage of new equipment is impacting the used equipment market. Buyers are finding that quality, pre-owned equipment is tougher to get than in recent months or years.

While this is creating challenges for all equipment dealers, those looking for good used machines still can rely on RDO Equipment Co. With more than 70 stores in the United States, we are able to source from a large, shared inventory of equipment to find a machine that fits virtually any need.

Related article:
3 unexpected challenges in the equipment industry – and what to do now

Whether your next season brings planting or harvesting, digging down or building up, it is important to look even further ahead and make a plan now for the machines you will need.

2. Continued Low USD
There was some hope and expectation for the U.S. dollar (USD) to rebound after weakening throughout most of 2020. As a member of the Federal Reserve Board Advisory Council, I can say that we have been tracking fluctuations with the USD, but it does not appear it will strengthen much this year.

For buyers in the global equipment industry, this challenge presents an opportunity. The low dollar value combined with ongoing uncertainty about a bigger rebound, makes equipment purchases much more affordable. While the higher demand on both new and used equipment is driving up prices, now is still a great time to take advantage of an opportunity to get quality pre-owned machines.

3. Steady Commodity Prices
While the USD may not have picked up steam as earlier-year predictions expected, commodity prices remain strong. They have not reached record levels but are still high, with global agriculture having a very good year.

I have said it before and it is worth repeating: good commodity prices inspire confidence. Quality used equipment is a great choice for those who are ready to buy machines after an uncertain 2020, while still keeping spend conservative as we watch to see how the rest of the year shakes out.

4. Transport Challenges
One of the more recent challenges that has affected the equipment industry is logistical. Shortages of trucks, shipping containers, and space on cargo ships is further adding to the delays and longer time to acquire equipment.

Even a company like RDO that manages its own trucking fleet is not immune to these logistical challenges. However, we have more control and are better positioned to move equipment across the United States, whether to an end-user or a shipping port for an overseas buyer.

Related article: What you need to know about the process to buy equipment internationally

With so many hurdles already to overcome, it is more important than ever to work with a company that has experts dedicated to transport logistics and the export process. Imagine the frustration of finally finding a machine and having a timeline for delivery, only to have that delayed because of a paperwork error.

Seek out a partner that can handle the full export process, from documentation, insurance, and customs clearing to secure shipping options including containerization and roll-on/roll-off.

The Value of Time
I believe it is true that time goes by faster every year and also that it becomes more valuable every year. Time really is the most valuable commodity there is and, this year more than ever, time is your best ally when it comes to successfully managing a fleet and setting up your business for success in 2022.

It has been great to watch essential businesses all across the globe continuing to work, building and repairing infrastructure, and planting and harvesting crops. If your work is showing no signs of slowing down next year, now is the time to get ready.

Whether you need help to find the right combine or motor grader, or assistance with documentation or parts ordering, RDO’s dedicated team will take the time to partner with you throughout the entire process.

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Learn more about best practices when buying equipment internationally and the various areas of expertise the RDO team has in equipment, parts, support, and the complete export process. To see more used agriculture and construction equipment for sale, contact your local RDO Equipment Co. store..

Olga Hall

Olga Hall is Director of International Sales for RDO Equipment Co. and based at the RDO store in Moorhead, MN.

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