US Trailer Industry Committed Through Most of 2023

According to the recent issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report, January’s backlog-to-build ratio (BL/BU) increased to 9.9 months after averaging roughly eight months since August of 2021, reflecting a lower build rate. The BL/BU for total trailers decreased to 8.1 months when seasonally adjusted. The industry is committed into the beginning of Q4/23.

“With four more build days in January relative to December, build was 4% higher month-over-month. That said, build per day decreased from the previous month’s unit-per-day rate,”  Jennifer McNealy, director of commercial vehicle market research and publications at ACT Research, said. “OEM conversations continue to suggest supply-chain constraints, including labor, are likely to remain a limiting factor to production in 2023.”

At 24,300 units, 2023’s first month of net orders was nearly 58% below December’s intake surge but only 9% lower than what was received in January of 2022. Lower orders of both van types, as well as flatbeds, was offset somewhat by increased placement for lowbeds and tanks, with orders for dumps virtually unchanged.”

“Demand overall remains strong, and cancellations are low, but we are hearing that some orders are being made to replenish dealer stock, rather than going directly to fleet customers,” McNealy said.

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