ACT: U.S. Trailer Net Orders Dropped 43% M/M, 51% Y/Y



March net U.S. trailer orders of 7,600 units were down 43% month-over-month and 51% below the previous year. Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 13,200 were down 14% versus February, according to this month’s ACT Research State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.

“The conservative investment posture of fleets continued into March,” said Frank Maly, director of CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. “As sobering as the figures are, they reflect pre-COVID-19 market conditions, and with more than 40 states under some level of mandated shutdown for most of April, those numbers will be even more significant.”

“The most obvious March impact was a dramatic reversal in dry van order activity, with new orders weak and cancellations surging,” Maly continued. “Fleets are operating in a bifurcated market; those transporting critical materials are unbelievably busy, while non-critical carriers are on the sidelines, and the former knowing the surge will eventually pass and a quick drop in volume will follow.”

Maly concluded, “Expect investment plans to suffer as we move through Q2, with one fleet segment not needing equipment and the other unwilling to make a long-term decision based on short-term and unsustainable conditions.”

ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report provides a monthly review of the current US trailer market statistics, as well as trailer OEM build plans and market indicators divided by all major trailer types, including backlogs, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders, and factory shipments.


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