ACT Research: Final Trailer Orders for April Experience 52% M/M Decline

According to ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report, April net U.S. trailer orders of 14,387 units fell nearly 52% from the previous month and rose more than 3,600% compared with severely COVID-19-impacted April 2020. Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 18,900 units were down 44% versus March but 219% better than last April.

According to a preliminary report from ACT Research released prior to final data capture, trailer OEMs indicated that 14,400 new trailer orders were booked in April.

“While seasonals call for a sequential decline in net orders in April, other market pressures drove net orders down to 14.4K trailers for the month, less than half that of March bookings,” Frank Maly, director of CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research, said. “We’re now in a period where, because of the unprecedented COVID-related impact in 2020, year-over-year comparisons will become much less valuable in determining the strength of the market.

“The industry is also grappling with extended backlogs and, on average, the next available production slots for dry vans and reefers are in Q2/22. That challenges OEMs as they struggle to confirm component and materials pricing, as well as supply, that far into the future. Fleets, too, struggle with determining true equipment requirements that far out. Some OEMs have announced a pause in order acceptance as they search for a bit more certainty in the long term. Re-negotiation of pricing on already-booked orders may also cause some fleets to step to the sidelines, seeking a bit less uncertainty on future capex commitments and simultaneously reducing new orders in the short term.”

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