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ACT Research: U.S. Trailer Orders Up 120% Y/Y, 2nd-Best Month in History

November 28, 2018, 07:17 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

After September’s all-time net order record, volume softened only a small degree in October, with volumes ranked as the second-best month in industry history at more than 55,000 trailers entering the orderboard, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.

“Six of ten trailer categories posted month-over-month gains, while eight of ten were up year-over-year and year-to-date,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. “The impact of a string of solid order months is responsible for that solid year-to-date performance, with six of the best ten order months in industry history occurring in the last year and four of those in this calendar year.”

Additionally, Maly said, “While total trailer net orders are up 56 percent year-to-date, industry performance is being led by reefers, up more than 138 percent through October. And, this strength has now returned the trailer/tractor net order ratio to the middle of the industry’s normal range, with a backlog that is now the highest it’s been since February of 1995.”

Used Truck Prices Rose 9% YTD in October

In a separate release, ACT Research reported the average price of total used Class 8 trucks in October fell 3 percent month-over-month, but rose 11 percent year-over-year and 9 percent year-to-date, when compared to the first 10 months of 2017. The latest release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks, published by ACT Research, also indicated used Class 8 same dealer sales volumes rose 11 percent year-to-date, while average mileage was flat and average age declined 4 percent from a year ago. When compared shorter term, same dealer sales volumes rose 2 percent month-over-month, after reporting a 9 percent month-over-month drop in September.

“We’re seeing a very positive trend, with more activity on late model aerodynamic sleepers than was expected, and wholesalers and used truck dealers are working harder to find used trucks that are priced ‘right’,” said Brian Armstrong, Information Systems Manager at ACT Research. “New trucks continue to get more expensive due to inflation, higher content, and advanced technologies, making used units more attractive and a benefit for those customers preferring less technology on their trucks.”

Analysis of the individual market segments continue to indicate mixed results. Armstrong explained, “Compared to last year, retail and auction markets recorded year-over-year gains of 8 percent and 1 percent, respectively, but the wholesale market recorded a 20 percent loss. However, all three channels were in positive territory on a year-to-date basis.”

The report from ACT provides data on the average selling price, miles and age based on a sample of industry data. In addition, the report provides the average selling price for top-selling Class 8 models for each of the major truck OEMs – Freightliner (Daimler); Kenworth and Peterbilt (Paccar); International (Navistar); and Volvo and Mack (Volvo).

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