ACT Research: Trailer Industry Easing into Order Season

While clouds on the trailer market horizon still bear watching, the industry is currently in its seasonally weakest time of the year for forward-looking metrics, according to ACT Research.

“Seasonally adjusted orders, at 14,700 units, contracted about 6% sequentially. With orders still in seasonal retreat, coupled with the recent near-record order backlogs, this month’s intake met expectations on a consolidated level,” Jennifer McNealy, director of commercial vehicle market research and publications at ACT Research, said. “As expected, production outpaced orders again in August, dropping trailer backlogs 14% compared to July and 23% vs. August 2022 to nearly 136,000 units (156K seasonally adjusted), leaving them at diminished but still strong levels.”

Regarding cancellations, McNealy said, “Fleet commitments were somewhat mixed but overall weaker in August than in the previous month. Total cancels increased to 3.2% of the backlog from July’s 1.7% level, returning to the May and June levels. OEMs are still reporting that most cancellations are coming from dealers, although we have been told about model-year cancellation-rebooks as 2024 orderboards begin to open and slots get pushed from the old to the new model year.”

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