May net US trailer orders of 8,676 units fell nearly 40% from the previous month, but were more than 165% higher compared to the COVID-impacted May of 2020. Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 11.7k units were down 38% versus April, but 56% better than the previous May, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.
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, trailer OEMs, and suppliers to better understand the market.
“The pause in order acceptance by several trailer OEMs, as they seek to reign in the backlog to an acceptable length, is obviously the driving force. A lack of demand is certainly not a factor. As noted in ACT Research’s recent Classes 5-8 State of the Industry Report, the US Tractor Dashboard for June, which measures the potential strength of the tractor market, rose to its maximum value of 15, an indication of the strong conditions present across the entire commercial vehicle market,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. He cautioned, “Orders will again begin to flow once OEMs are satisfied that materials/component pricing and supply, along with adequate staff, are in place to allow them to make further 2022 production commitments and satisfy robust fleet demand.”
Maly added, “The ongoing challenge for OEMs to ramp production in response to robust fleet demand is evident in the backlog-to-build metric, which has ranged between 9 and 11 months since December. May closed at 9.1 months, the result of lower net orders being booked, backlog reduction, and a small increase in the build rate.” He concluded, “Even with that backlog-to-build ratio decline, the industry is committed, on average, into March of 2022, with dry vans and reefers extended to April and into May, respectively.”
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 www.actresearch.net.
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