COLUMBUS, Ind. — According to analysts at ACT Research, May’s preliminary net trailer orders decreased sequentially and were lower against longer-term comparisons. According to data released in mid-June, 9,100 units (11,950 seasonally adjusted) were projected to have been booked during the month.
“Preliminary net orders were 10% lower compared to April’s intake, and down 54% versus the same month last year,” said Jennifer McNealy, director of commercial vehicle market research and publications for ACT Research. “Seasonal expectations call for orders to continue their pull back in the coming months, particularly given near record-level order backlogs, as trailer manufacturers normally spend mid-year working down the backlog ahead of the next year’s orderboard opening in the fall.”
Demand for new trailers is softening, according to McNealy.
“In addition to the seasonally anticipated slowing in orders, we’re starting to see increased and broad-based cancellations,” she said.
It’s not all bad news, however.
“That said, backlogs remain robust, so many fleets needing trailers remain in queue for orders already placed, with relative backlog measurements for most trailer categories still near the top of their target ranges,” she said.
When asked about trailer build and backlog, McNealy predicted a decrease.
“Using preliminary May orders and the corresponding OEM build plans from the May ‘State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers’ report (April data) for guidance, the trailer backlog should decrease by around 19,000 units to about 194,000 units when complete May data are released,” she said. “With orders being preliminary and the build number a projection, there will be some variability in reported backlogs when final data are collected.”
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