ACT Research: Preliminary U.S. Trailer Net Orders Down 39% M/M and 56% Y/Y, 52% Lower YTD

ACT’s preliminary estimate for November indicates that trailer manufacturers booked 19.5k net orders to their orderboards last month, a 39% decline from October’s volume. Activity was 56% below November of 2018, while year-to-date net orders are just under half that of last year.

Trailer Prelim Graph 12-16-19Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 21.1k trailers were off 43% month-over-month and 54% below last year. Final volume will be available later this week. This preliminary market estimate should be within +/- 3% of the final order tally.

ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report provides a monthly review of the current US trailer market statistics, as well as trailer OEM build plans and market indicators divided by all major trailer types, including backlogs, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders, and factory shipments. It is accompanied by a database that gives historical information from 1996 to the present, as well as a ready-to-use graph packet, to allow organizations in the trailer production supply chain, and those following the investment value of trailers and trailer OEMs and suppliers, to better understand the market.

“The sequential decline in November broke a four-month streak of monthly gains. That ran counter to the industry’s normal order patterns, which point to November typically ranking as the best order month of the year,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. He continued, “The cautious stance toward 2020 cap-ex spending is evident in both the level and pattern of fleet trailer orders as we approach year-end.”

animation - 2019-12-16T145323.115Additionally, Maly said, “One positive take-away from the November stats is a significant easing in cancellations compared to previous months. That’s an indication that, while lower, the commitments on the orderboard appear to be firming as we close the year.” He added, “Discussions with trailer OEMs also indicate that, although they are encountering pricing pressure, quote activity remains solid, so any change in fleet confidence could quickly result in an order rebound.”

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.

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