ACT Research: U.S. Trailer Preliminary Net Orders Surge 71% M/M in October, but Were Off 42% Y/Y and Down 52% YTD

Trailer Prelim Graph 11-15-19ACT’s preliminary estimate for October indicates that trailer manufacturers booked 31.9k net orders to their orderboards last month, a 71% spike from September and the second straight month of sequential growth greater than 70%. Volume was 42% below last year, but slightly above the same month in 2017. Year-to-date, net orders are off 52% from the torrid pace of 2018.

Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 37.5k trailers were up 73% from September, but 34% below last year. Final volume will be available later this month. This preliminary market estimate should be within +/- 3% of the final order tally.

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.

animation (100)Trailer 11.18.19“After a lackluster summer, order volume has now surged for two straight months, and is tracking more in line with historic seasonal order patterns,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. He continued “October order strength was highly concentrated in dry vans, where orders were more than two times that of September. A counterpoint to the net order surge was continuing elevated cancellations, occurring in both dry vans and reefers. Since we are approaching year-end, it is likely that cancellations are due to a combination of several factors. Some placeholder orders are likely being cleared from the system and it is also likely some production is being shifted into early 2020, either at OEM or fleet request.”

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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