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ACT Research: Trailer Orders Continue to Drop, Down 37% YTD

May 23, 2019, 06:55 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

New U.S. trailer orders of 18,600 were up 4 percent month-over-month in April, but after accounting for cancellations, net orders slid to 14,700 units, down 6 percent from March. Orders were down 23 percent year over year.

Year-to-date, net orders are 37 percent below last year, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report. Near-record backlogs have filled 2019 build slots for many OEMs, and there continues to be some resistance toward booking orders into next year, resulting in the modest order volumes.

“New orders in April were surprisingly stronger on a month-over-month basis than the double-digit decline expected by seasonal patterns, but higher cancellations pushed net orders below last month’s level,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. “Most surprising was extremely weak reefer volumes, with new orders off 45 percent sequentially month-over-month and 65 percent year-over-year. A surge in cancelations helped push reefer net orders to the lowest monthly volume since December of 2000, when the industry posted a net-negative order month.”

Additionally, Maly said, “Although up more than 20 percent year-over-year, industry backlog posted a fourth consecutive sequential decline, and that pattern is likely to continue for the next couple of months, particularly for dry vans and reefers.”

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