ACT: Preliminary Data Shows 140% Y/Y Increase in Net Trailer Orders in December



Preliminary information for December indicates that the U.S. trailer industry booked 42,500 net orders for the month, which was 7% better than November and 140% above year-ago levels, according to ACT Research. For the full year, estimated net order volume of more than 288,000 trailers was 40% better than 2019. Final December volume will be available later this month. This preliminary market estimate should be within +/- 3% of the final order tally.

“December activity closes a tumultuous year on a very solid up note. As has been the story throughout recent months, dry van demand continued to drive the market. While October and November were the best two dry van order months in history, final stats will likely show December not far behind, ranking fifth best,” Frank Maly, director of CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research, said. “After rushing to the sidelines in the spring, fleets surged back into the market as the year proceeded, reacting to capacity challenges as well as higher freight rates. Those factors drove a dramatic shift in the short-to-medium term outlook for fleets, driving them to make aggressive investment commitments in the latter part of the year.

“Total industry backlog likely ended the year at more than 200k trailers, the best order board level since April 2019. At current production levels, many OEMs would well be fully committed for 2021 production slots. However, OEMs will work to increase production levels as we move through the year, pulling that backlog horizon forward.”

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Terry Mulreany
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