ACT Research: U.S. Trailer Orders Slow Down in October

According to ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer report, October net U.S. trailer orders of 17,405 units fell more than 38% from the previous month and were nearly 69% lower compared with October of 2020. Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 19,600 units were down almost 40% versus September and 66% lower than last October. Year-to-date net orders and new orders for the first 10 months of 2021 were both about 10% lower compared with the same time period in 2020, which included COVID-19-stricken spring data.

“October net orders were down sequentially and year over year against last October’s very tough comparison, the second-highest net order month in industry history when fleet investment plans rebounded from the spring COVID doldrums,” Frank Maly, director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research at ACT Research, said. “The major impact on October data came from the dry van category, where, after a cautious bit of quarter-ending order acceptance, OEMs became much more careful about extending the order board horizon excessively. Reefers posted a very solid month-over-month increase in net orders.

“While net reefer orders in October are still well below normal industry volume, they outpaced the total for the entire third quarter. Expect order acceptance to be closely managed for the foreseeable future, with OEM challenges including the current strong backlogs that commit many of them for a major portion of next year and their inability to ramp production volume in response to surging fleet demand.”

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