ACT Research: US Trailer Industry Already Committed Through Most of 2023

Total Trailer Backlog & BacklogBuild Ratio January 2014-January 2023Reflecting a lower build rate, January’s backlog-to-build ratio increased to 9.9 months, after averaging ~8 months since August of 2021. That said, the BL/BU for total trailers decreased to 8.1 months when seasonally adjusted. Either way one looks at it, the industry is essentially committed into the beginning of Q4’23, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers 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, trailer OEMs, and suppliers to better understand the market.

“With four more build days in January relative to December, build was 4% higher month-over-month. That said, build per day decreased from the previous month’s unit-per-day rate,” said Jennifer McNealy, Director–CV Market Research & Publications at ACT Research. “OEM conversations continue to suggest supply-chain constraints, including labor, are likely to remain a limiting factor to production in 2023.”

Total Trailers Net Orders January 2014-2023She added, “At 24,300 units, 2023’s first month of net orders was nearly 58% below December’s intake surge, but only 9% lower than what was received in January of 2022. Lower orders of both van types, as well as flatbeds, was offset somewhat by increased placement for lowbeds and tanks, with orders for dumps virtually unchanged.”

McNealy concluded, “Demand overall remains strong, and cancellations are low, but we are hearing that some orders are being made to replenish dealer stock, rather than going directly to fleet customers.”

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

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Click below to access:

More information about ACT’s State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 report.

Information about ACT Research’s other publications and services.

January’s Preliminary State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer press release.

January's State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers press release.

ACT’s In the News page.

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