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ACT reports May net trailer orders down 39% from April but up nearly 170% year over year

ACT reports May net trailer orders down 39% from April but up nearly 170% year over year
While preliminary figures for May trailer orders are down compared to April, ACT Research reports a healthy jump from May 2020, during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy: ACT Research)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — According to preliminary reports from ACT Research, trailer OEMs posted 8,800 net orders in May, down 39% from April, but almost 170% better than the COVID-impacted level last year. Final May volume will be available later this month.

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“The sequential decline in net orders was no surprise, as the impact of supply and staffing headwinds overcame continued strong market demand,” said Frank Maly, director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis at ACT Research. “With industry backlogs for dry vans and reefers extending well into next year, OEMs are reticent to continue to book orders that would further extend their delivery horizons. Some fleets may be unwilling to extend their commitments, as well. The combination of those concerns generates headwinds to additional order placement and accentuates the seasonal softness that normally occurs in late spring and early summer.”

ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers 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.

“While these early reports indicate that OEMs did improve production rates in May, the increase was not as strong as they would prefer,” Maly said. “Until meaningful increases in build rates can be attained, expect order acceptance by OEMs to remain somewhat restrained.”

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