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April net trailer orders less than half of March, year-to-date net volume up more than 160%

May 21, 2021
“Year-to-date net order volume of just over 102k trailers, up 164% versus last year, gives us a better metric that indicates fleet equipment demand remains strong,” said Frank Maly, director CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research.

Preliminary reports from trailer OEMs indicate that 14,400 new trailer orders were booked in April, which was 52% lower than March, but a staggering 3,600% above the dramatically COVID-impacted volume for the same month last year. Final April volume will be available later this month. This preliminary market estimate should be within +/- 5% of the final order tally.

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. It is accompanied by a database that gives historical information from 1996 to the present, as well as a ready-to-use graph packet, to allow organizations in the trailer production supply chain, and those following the investment value of trailers and trailer OEMs and suppliers, to better understand the market.

“Given the dramatic market impact of COVID shutdowns that occurred at this point last year, year-over-year comparisons provide minimal insight. Year-to-date net order volume of just over 102k trailers, up 164% versus last year, gives us a better metric that indicates fleet equipment demand remains strong,” said Frank Maly, director CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. “Strong fleet commitments, pushing the average backlog for dry vans and reefers into Q2’22 at recent production rates, are generating headwinds to further order placement. Perhaps that should be better phrased as ‘further order acceptance,’ since some OEMs have indicated that they are not accepting orders until longer-term component and materials supplies and pricing can be determined. There also appears to have been a bit of an upturn in cancellations during April. Some re-visiting of pricing, the result of component and material cost pressures, along with some reassessment by fleets regarding projected delivery dates and their actual equipment needs, were likely both contributors to those adjustments. Finally, OEMs continue to struggle to increase production rates, with components, materials, and staffing still challenging their efforts.”

Click here for more information about ACT’s US Trailer Report.