February saw 15% drop in nation’s trailer net orders, report says

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February Trailer Sales Chart
February Trailer Sales Chart

COLUMBUS, Ind. – February net US trailer orders of 12.7k units were down 15% month over month and 45% below the previous year. Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 14.8k were down 12% versus January, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.

The report provides a monthly review of the current U.S. 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. The report 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, as well as those following the investment value of trailers and trailer OEMs and suppliers, to better understand the market.

“The conservative investment posture of fleets continued into February,” said Frank Maly, director of CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. He added, “As dire as those figures are, they were highly pre-COVID-19 driven. Now we are operating under some of the most unusual and unexpected market conditions in history.”

Maly noted that reduced freight volumes and rates had already impacted fleet financials, as well as companies’ need and ability to invest in equipment, before the February numbers were compiled.

“While freight volume may have skyrocketed, if you are carrying the correct goods for the correct sales channels, for many fleets the shuttering of restaurants and retail locations may have pushed operations to the sidelines,” he said. “Recent discussions indicate that order placement has virtually disappeared as fleets begin to assume their version of ‘shelter in place’ with regards to equipment investment.”

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