ACT Research: November trailer orders down 28% from October, but up 94% year over year

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Utility Reefer 1
Even though trailer orders in the U.S. dropped from October to November, analysts at ACT Research note that orders are still up 94% year over year. (Courtesy: Utility)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — November net U.S. trailer orders of 39,645 units fell nearly 28% from October, but that followed a two-month order surge and still indicates a solid month, according to analysts at ACT Research. Net orders were up 94% year over year — and up more than 30% year to date compared to the first 11 months of 2019. Before accounting for cancellations, November saw new orders of 41,000 units, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.

“While lower sequentially, November net orders really just took a bit of a breather from the September/October order surge, just missing the all-time top 10 list,” said Frank Maly, director of commercial-vehicle transportation analysis and research for ACT. “It is quite possible that the previous two-month surge actually could have generated some minor November headwinds, and not surprisingly, dry vans and reefers are creating the majority of the volume uptick.”

ACT’s 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.

“At current production levels, the first available production slots for those two categories, on average, are in Q4’21, but of course, we’re talking averages, so while some OEMs may be fully committed for 2021 until higher production rates can be generated, some OEMs have remaining 2021 slots,” Maly said. “This has led us to a surprising industry comment in recent discussions: Fleets were wondering when the 2022 order boards might open.”

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