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ACT Research: U.S. Trailer Orders Soaring, Up 142% Y/Y

September 26, 2018, 07:10 AM
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August orders continued to reflect the early opening to the 2018/19 order season. Total trailer net orders of more than 38,000 units were up 31 percent month over month and 142 percent better than this time last year, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.

“Seven of ten trailer categories were in the black m/m (flats, heavy lowbeds and dump trailers trailed the pack), while y/y eight of ten were better (bulk tanks and grain were in the red). YTD net orders are up 40 percent, led by a 110 percent gain in reefers, while dry vans are up 33 percent,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research.

“Although we expect trailer orders to be roughly 1.5x Class 8 tractor orders over the long-run, the 3MMA of trailer orders has been declining since December, and slid below 1.0 in both July and August; that’s an indication of both fleet attitudes and their willingness to continue to invest in new equipment, with truck OEMs perhaps just a bit more willing to book longer-term commitments,” he added.

Additionally, the report noted the industry continues to experience inventory-related issues. Maly commented, “Indications are that OEMs would have built more trailers but were limited by continuing component and material availability challenges. Tires are frequently noted as a bottleneck, with undercarriage components and wheels continuing to be mentioned as well. Red-tags are also apparently continuing to occur, but less mention of them may indicate a bit less overall impact than in Q2. That said, we expect an attempt to clear some of those in the quarter-ending month of September.”

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