Preliminary April net U.S. trailer orders were 250 units, an all-time monthly low for the industry. Volume was 97% down from March and 98% below the same month last year.
That all-time low volume resulted from a combination of weak new order placement and disappointingly high cancellations.
“The impact of COVID-19 pressure on commercial vehicle business conditions is obvious in these preliminary April results,” said Frank Maly, Director CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research.
He added, “Weak new order placement was the result of fleets swiftly moving to the sidelines, as freight volume and lower freight rates resulted in disappointing financial results. While some fleets continued to benefit from the movement of essential goods and materials, that support was beginning to wane as the month closed. Those fleets began to join the industrial, consumer goods, and retail-oriented carriers, where the lockdowns have depressed freight volumes. Preliminary results indicated that less than 6,000 new trailer orders were placed in April. However, cancellations almost completely offset those new orders, as fleets backed away from prior commitments in a rapid reaction to the unprecedented business conditions generated by the economic shutdown. Indications are that both the dry van and reefer segments posted more cancellations than new orders in April. Don’t expect any significant rebound in order placement until improvement in business conditions and an unwinding of the economic shutdown begins to improve freight volumes.”
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.
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.
ACT’s 63rd seminar is scheduled for August 11-13, 2020. Focused on the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will feature dealer, alternative power, and economic panels, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the pending impact of alternative power on the market in the near future. Both in-person and livestream options are available for those who wish to participate.
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