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ACT Research: Preliminary Net Trailer Orders Decline, Facing Seasonal, Cyclical Headwinds

May 16, 2023, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

April’s preliminary net trailer orders decreased sequentially, and were lower against longer-term comparisons, with 10,000 units (11,900 seasonally adjusted) projected to have been booked during the month. Final April results will be available later this month.

“Preliminary net orders were 41 percent lower compared to March’s intake, and down 49 percent versus the same month last year,” said Jennifer McNealy, Director CV Market Research & Publications at ACT Research. “Seasonal expectations called for orders to pull back in April, particularly given the near record-level order backlogs and supply-chain challenges being experienced by the industry.”

McNealy continued, “Demand appears to be softening, albeit against strong comparisons. That said, backlogs remain robust. For the time being, the industry is still wrestling with lingering supply-chain challenges, although signs of improvement are seen monthly, and fleets needing trailers remain in queue for orders already placed, with backlogs for most trailer categories still near the top of their target ranges.”

When asked about build and backlog, she commented, “Using preliminary April orders and the corresponding OEM build plans from the April State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report (March data) for guidance, the trailer backlog should decrease by around 16,500 units to about 213,000 units when complete April 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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