Net Trailer Orders Experience Dip in January as Demand Remains Strong

According to preliminary data from ACT Research, net trailer orders dipped in January to 24,200 units (22,000 when seasonally adjusted). Final January results will be available later this month, but the preliminary market estimate should be within 5% of the final order tally.

“We expected net orders to slow in January after the explosion of orders in 2022’s final quarter. Despite the anticipated sequential decline, preliminary net orders were only 9% lower compared to the same month last year,” Jennifer McNealy, director of commercial vehicle market research and publications at ACT Research, said. “This month’s data are simply a return to more normal levels following the year-end surge.

“Nearly as soon as a build slot is available, there is a fleet ready to fill it with an order. Demand remains strong, and with the backlog-to-build ratio near the 10-month mark, on average, fleets needing trailers continue to stay the course.”

When asked about build and backlog, McNealy said, “Using preliminary January orders and the corresponding OEM build plans from the January State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report (December data) for guidance, the trailer backlog should decrease by around 400 units when complete January data are released. That said, with orders being preliminary and the build number a projection, there will be some variability in reported backlogs when final data are collected.”

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