ACT Research: U.S. Trailer Backlog Improves M/M, Y/Y

The U.S. trailer backlog continued to be positive in October, with a stronger than expected improvement of 6% month over month and 8% year over year.

“Eight of 10 categories were up month over month, with liquid tanks and reefers the outliers,” said Frank Maly, director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. “Eight of 10 were also in the black year over year, with medium lowbeds and reefers in the red.”

October’s longer production schedule was almost perfectly offset by lower build rates. According to Maly, the number of trailers built last month (25,700), was up less than 1% sequentially and year-to-date production of 247,500 trailers was also up less than 1% year over year.

October production, for the most part, was in line with ACT Research expectations.

“We expect Q4/17 daily production to be about 5% down from Q3 levels,” noted Maly. “Our projections indicate that total 2017 trailer production will be about 3% higher than last year, and some increase in factory inventory will result in a slightly smaller year-over-year gain in shipments versus 2016.”

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