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New trailer orders down slightly in November 2012 from October

The November results are considered a positive sign that the industry is preparing for increased freight availability.

The Trucker News Services

1/2/2013

COLUMBUS, Ind. — New trailer orders declined slightly in November 2012, as did orders for new tractors, according to a monthly update from ACT Research Co. The information was published in the company’s latest “State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers” report.

The figure of 22,306 orders represents a slight decrease from orders in October, but the good news is that October results were very strong. The November results are considered a positive sign that the industry is preparing for increased freight availability.

November saw a decline in trailer production, too, with build rates declining by 15 percent compared with the previous month. The decline may not be as bad as the numbers indicate, according to ACT Research Director-CV Transportation Frank Maly. “We believe November’s build rate is understated because more holidays were taken than we projected. However,” he continued, “quotation interest remains solid. Fleets appear to be positioning themselves to move when the time is right.”

Sales of used tractors declined by 16 percent in November, compared to October numbers, according to the “State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks” report issued by ACT. While overall sales declined, however, used tractor prices went in the opposite direction. “The good news is that prices in November saw a sharp increase over October and year-over-year,” said Steve Tam, vice president-commercial vehicle sector with ACT. “Prices were also able to hang onto positive territory year-to-date. Looking forward to 2013, prices are likely to remain elevated, though growth will be a stretch,” he added.

November orders for new tractors declined from October numbers but were still higher than the 2012 average, according to an ACT press release. “Looking below the surface of November’s orders, the U.S. and non-NAFTA exports were the two market segments most responsible for the pullback,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “In November, Class 8 orders from outside of the NAFTA zone fell to their second lowest level in three years.”

ACT publishes industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market. Reports can be obtained on the company’s website at actresearch.net.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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