ACT: U.S. Trailer Backlog Continues Slight Decline in September



According to ACT Research, U.S. trailer backlog continued to slide in September, with a decline of 1% month-over-month and just above 1% year-over-year. September’s dry van and reefer orders provided support for the overall industry.

“Most vocational categories actually posted year-over-year backlog gains; strong dry van orders generated a sequential gain for that major category as well after a somewhat lackluster August,” said Frank Maly, director of CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research. “We would expect further improvement in backlog as the order season progresses.”

A surge in the September production rate resulted in a month-over-month decline in the backlog/build ratio. The industry closed September at a 3.7-month level, using the normal calculations.

“After hovering in the Nov/Dec timeframe for the past few months, that finally pushes industry BL/BU into next year,” Maly said. “The robust September build rate artificially reduced the BL/BU horizon; using our production plan, projections generate a 4.1-month measure, which would commit the industry into early February.”

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