According to ACT Research, U.S. trailer net orders rose 27% on a year-over-year basis in May. Orders were 22,900 when not seasonally adjusted, which was off only 2% month-over-month. However, the dramatic seasonally adjusted strength in net orders, up 23% month-over-month, was highly dry van focused, as most other trailer categories saw seasonally adjusted sequential declines or minimal increases.
“With assistance from dry vans, the industry posted the 18th straight month with [year-over-year] net order improvement, and fleets must now patiently await delivery of the trailers that fill the vast majority of this year’s production slots,” said Frank Maly, director of CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research. “May production was a bit weaker than we projected, with continued reports of component issues generating near-term challenges, and tariffs and trade wars listed as potentials for future difficulties. May build of 27,900 trailers (NSA) was up 3% month-over-month, but off 5% when seasonal adjustments were applied. This could be the first indication that some of the industry’s usual build season production increases might be a bit more elusive this year, despite the robust orderboard.”
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