Net trailer orders for November stand at 39,500 — more than double last year’s figures

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Dry Van Trailer
According to ACT Research, dry vans continue to drive a surge in trailer orders.

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Preliminary information for November indicates that the U.S. trailer industry booked 39,500 net orders for the month. While down 28% from October, last month’s volume was nearly double that seen in November 2019. The industry has now had six consecutive months with solid year-over-year gains in net orders, and November will likely rank in the industry’s top 10 months. Final volume will be available later this month. This preliminary market estimate should be within +/- 3% of the final order tally.

“While November orders were down sequentially versus October, that matches the order pattern for last year. Remember that October was the third-best net order month in history, so that set up a tough comparison for the industry,” said Frank Maly, director of commercial-vehicle transportation analysis and research for ACT Research.

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. It is accompanied by a database that gives historical information from 1996 to the present, as well as a graph packet, to allow organizations in the trailer production supply chain, and those following the investment value of trailers and trailer OEMs and suppliers, to better understand the market.

“Dry vans have been the foundation of the recent order surge, and that pattern continued during November. While more than twice the pace of last November, dry van orders appear to be roughly two-thirds of October’s level. Freight rates continue at robust levels, resulting in solid expectations for fleet financials. That means fleets have both the need and ability to invest in equipment.” Maly said. “Given concerns regarding availability and timing of production slots in 2021, since existing backlog extends to nearly the end of Q3 ’21 at current production rates, fleets pulled their order timing forward this year, resulting in the October volume peak.”

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