ACT: Preliminary U.S. Trailer Net Orders Down 56% Y/Y

ACT’s preliminary estimate for November indicates that trailer manufacturers booked 19,500 net orders to their orderboards last month, a 39% decline from October’s volume. Activity was 56% below November of 2018, while year-to-date net orders are just under half that of last year.

Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 21,100 trailers were off 43% month-over-month and 54% below last year. Final volume will be available later this week. This preliminary market estimate should be within +/- 3% of the final order tally.

“The sequential decline in November broke a four-month streak of monthly gains. That ran counter to the industry’s normal order patterns, which point to November typically ranking as the best order month of the year,” said Frank Maly, director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. “The cautious stance toward 2020 cap-ex spending is evident in both the level and pattern of fleet trailer orders as we approach year-end.”

Maly added, “One positive take-away from the November stats is a significant easing in cancellations compared to previous months. That’s an indication that, while lower, the commitments on the orderboard appear to be firming as we close the year. Discussions with trailer OEMs also indicate that, although they are encountering pricing pressure, quote activity remains solid, so any change in fleet confidence could quickly result in an order rebound.”

ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report provides a monthly review of the current US trailer market statistics, as well as trailer OEM build plans and market indicators divided by all major trailer types, including backlogs, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders, and factory shipments. It is accompanied by a database that gives historical information from 1996 to the present, as well as a ready-to-use graph packet, to allow organizations in the trailer production supply chain, and those following the investment value of trailers and trailer OEMs and suppliers, to better understand the market.

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