April net US trailer orders of 209 units were down 97% month-over-month and 99% below the previous year. Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 5.7k units were down 57% versus March, 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.
“It is difficult to comprehend a report of 209 net total trailer orders in April,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. He added, “By far the weakest monthly net order volume in industry history, April was disturbingly close to a net negative order month, and even new order volume of just under 6,000 trailers was the fourth worst month since 1990.”
Maly continued, “Several discussions regarding April included comments indicating that the shift in fleet investment plans was abrupt, and more concerning were the comments that fleet confidence continued to worsen in May, with recent descriptions depicting the market as the worst ever experienced.” He commented, “The surge in freight volumes that came from critical goods movement and what could easily be termed consumer ‘panic buying’ is done, and fleets perceive that shift.” Maly concluded, “Large fleets remain on the sidelines, and financial pressures will likely push many small and medium fleets entirely off the playing field, leaving some very challenging months ahead.”
Additionally, the report noted that ACT Research has created an easily accessible webpage to track noteworthy high frequency macroeconomic and transportation-specific market indicators, which can be found at https://pages.actresearch.net/covid-19.
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. Click here for seminar information.