ACT Research: US Trailer Production Pendulum Has Shifted to “Advantage Fleets”

Trailer Net Orders for Trailer Components PR 11-18-19According to this quarter’s issue of ACT Research’s Trailer Components Report, trailer industry net orders have now posted y/y declines for the last 10 months. YTD September net orders were down 54% versus 2018. Dry van and reefer net orders were both weaker than the industry average, while only medium lowbeds had a positive y/y result, but just 3% better than last year.

ACT Research’s U.S. New Trailer Components and Materials Forecast provides those in the trailer production supply chain, as well as those who invest in said suppliers and commodities, with forecast quantities of components and raw materials required to support the trailer forecast for the coming five years. It includes near-term quarterly predictions for two years, while the latter three years of the forecast are shown in annual details. Additionally, analysis is segment into two categories: those needed for the structural composition of new trailers and those used in production of undercarriage assembly.

animation - 2019-11-18T144952.620-1“While the 2019/2020 order season is underway, fleet response has been lackluster,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. He continued, “The impact of financial pressures, a combination of weaker freight volume and lower rates for the available freight movement, is an overarching concern.” Additionally, Maly said, “The dramatic growth of the trailer fleet in the past few years is also an important factor, resulting in both increased capacity and a dramatically younger fleet, all meaning little incentive for significant capital investment by fleets.”

Maly also noted, “We project softening production into early 2020, with slower line rates and/or reduced days in operation at the OEMs. A market that was extremely advantageous toward the OEMs as 2019 opened has seen that pendulum shift rather dramatically to ‘advantage fleets,’ meaning price levels will likely be a major topic during ongoing order negotiations.”

ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at

ACT’s 62nd seminar is scheduled for February 11-13, 2020, and will feature trucker, electrification, and economic panels, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the pending impact of electrification on the market in the near future. A commercial vehicle database workshop is also being planned in conjunction with this semi-annual event.

Trailer Components 11.18.19

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