ACT Research: U.S. Trailer Net Orders Up 73% M/M, but Down 68% Y/Y and 54% YTD

Trailer Graph 10-23-19New US trailer orders of 21.6k were up 44% month-over-month, and after accounting for cancellations, net orders of 18.6k hit their third sequential increase in ten months, rising 73% from August, but down 68% compared to September of 2018. Year-to-date, however, net trailer orders are 54% below last year, 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.

“Some order-season driven improvement occurred last month, but the pace was fairly lethargic, particularly if a year-over-year perspective is used,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. He continued, “Short-term comparisons of new orders up 44% m/m and net volume up 73% sequentially are blunted by the new/net year-over-year comparisons of -64% and -68%, respectively.”

animation (82)Additionally, Maly said, “Fleets continue to proceed with extreme caution toward the new year, and there appears to be little on the horizon to shift their psyche. The impact of low rates, reduced freight demand, and an uncertain short-to-medium term general economic path combine to create meaningful headwinds to fleet investment.” He concluded, “The pendulum, which was strongly on the OEMs’ side at this time last year, has swiftly swung to the fleets’ advantage.

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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