ACT Research: U.S. Trailer Net Orders Dropped 43% Sequentially in March, -51% Y/Y

Trailer Graph 4-17-20March net US trailer orders of 7.6k units were down 43% month-over-month and 51% below the previous year. Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 13.2k were down 14% versus February, 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 and trailer OEMs and suppliers, to better understand the market.

“The conservative investment posture of fleets continued into March,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. He added, “As sobering as the figures are, they reflect pre-COVID market conditions, and with more than 40 states under some level of mandated shutdown for most of April, those numbers will be even more significant.”

animation (28)-1Maly continued, “The most obvious March impact was a dramatic reversal in dry van order activity, with new orders weak and cancellations surging.” He commented, “Fleets are operating in a bifurcated market; those transporting critical materials are unbelievably busy, while non-critical carriers are on the sidelines, and the former knowing the surge will eventually pass and a quick drop in volume will follow.” Maly concluded, “Expect investment plans to suffer as we move through Q2, with one fleet segment not needing equipment and the other unwilling to make a long-term decision based on short-term and unsustainable conditions.”

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 63rd seminar is scheduled for August 11-13, 2020, and 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.

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See March's State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers Press Release.

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