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ACT Research: Preliminary Net Trailer Orders Down Over 26% Y/Y

November 17, 2023, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

October’s preliminary net trailer orders increased nominally from September to October, at 35,300 units, but were lower compared to last October, down more than 26 percent Y/Y. As we’re still in the opening of peak order season, seasonal adjustment (SA) lowers October’s SA tally to 26,200 units. Final October results will be available later this month.

“Preliminary net orders, at 26,200 seasonally adjusted, were about 9 percent lower sequentially,” said Jennifer McNealy, Director CV Market Research & Publications at ACT Research. “While this certainly continues the positive momentum for the industry that began last month, two months of robust orders does not guarantee the full year. It’s still early in the new year order season to call.”

McNealy continued, “The data continue to provide mixed messages, with cancellations remaining elevated, driven primarily by the platform and tank segments, even as backlogs remain at healthy levels in general and particularly in the specialty segments. The BL/BU ratio was well north of five months in aggregate, with some specialty segments having no available build slots until late in 2024 at the earliest.” She concluded, “We’ve been hearing that order discussions were occurring, and it looks like quotations continue to convert to ‘booked’ business.”

When asked about the backlog’s trajectory, she commented, “Using preliminary October orders and the corresponding OEM build plans from the October State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report (September data) for guidance, we would expect the trailer backlog to increase by around 7,300 units to about 146,100 units when complete October data are released. As this number is derived from estimated data, note there will be some variability to reported backlogs when final data are collected.”

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