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ACT Research: U.S. Trailer Net Orders Dropped 51% Y/Y in March

April 20, 2020, 06:55 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

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

“The conservative investment posture of fleets continued into March,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. “As sobering as the figures are, they reflect pre-COVID 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.”

Maly continued, “The most obvious March impact was a dramatic reversal in dry van order activity, with new orders weak and cancellations surging.”

He commented, “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.”

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