ACT Research: Strong Trailer Orders Streak Ends in Q4/18



According to this quarter’s issue of ACT Research’s Trailer Components Report, the industry’s stronger order streak that started in the fall of 2017 came to an end at the close of 2018, but the softness was not necessarily due to a change in fleet confidence.

Q4/18 closed with the industry at an historically high backlog, although December posted a decline in net orders of 39% month-over-month and 40% year-over-year.

“At this point, we don’t see softening demand for trailers as the driver of the recent downtick in orders. We’ve heard multiple comments regarding OEMs’ unwillingness to accept additional orders,” said Frank Maly, director, CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. “Their concern is the uncertainty regarding material and component pricing for the longer term, which makes trailer pricing decisions difficult. Additional production is being limited by ‘availables,’ meaning available capacity, available labor, and available components and materials.”

Additionally, Maly said, “Some weather impact may have hampered production rates in early 2019, but discussions have included concerns about the availability of undercarriage components, i.e. suspensions and axles, with air suspensions specifically mentioned.”

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