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ACT Research: August U.S. Trailer Net Orders Jumped Over 150% Y/Y

September 16, 2020, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

Preliminary information for August indicates the U.S. trailer industry booked 27,500 net orders for the month, a 46 percent improvement from July and more than 150 percent better than the same month last year, ACT Research reported. Before accounting for cancellations, new orders approached the 29,000 mark. Both new and net orders were the best in their respective categories since last October. Final volume will be available later this month.

“The industry continues to improve from meager COVID-induced Q2 volumes. Discussions indicate that large fleet orders are the driving factor in recent market improvements. After very weak expectations in late spring, fleets have switched to a much more optimistic tone, supported by both improved freight volumes and rates,” said Frank Maly, Director CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research.

He added, “OEMs have adjusted their operations in response. As a result, some fleets could be becoming concerned about the timing and availability of trailers in the new year, making CAPEX commitments as a result. At current production rates, the industry orderboard extends into the middle of Q1’21.”

Preliminary Used Class 8 Data for August Shows YTD Sales Up

Preliminary used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) were flat month-over-month in August, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research. Longer-term, volumes rose 46 percent compared to August 2019, and were up 21 percent when measured against the first eight months of last year.

Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for August 2020, which showed that average prices increased 7 percent, while average miles and average age each decreased, down 2 percent and 3 percent, respectively, compared to July. Year-to-date, average price, miles, and age were all lower, down 16 percent, 3 percent, and 8 percent, respectively, compared to the first eight months of 2019.

According to Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research, “In aggregate, the used truck market continued to make gains compared to what happened last month.” He continued, “While the near-term progress is encouraging, the tougher standard is how the current market stacks up against last year.”

Tam added, “As we have been expecting for some time, today’s trucks are not bringing the same money they were a year ago, and given everything that has happened in our economy in the past year, that comes as no surprise.” He concluded, “The good news is that even if prices remain where they are now, they will continue to make improvements relative to last year, becoming less negative as comparisons become easier.”

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