COLUMBUS, IN – August orders continued to reflect the early opening to the 2018/19 order season. Total trailer net orders of more than 38k units were up 31% m/m and 142% better than this time last year, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.
“Seven of ten trailer categories were in the black m/m (flats, heavy lowbeds and dump trailers trailed the pack), while y/y eight of ten were better (bulk tanks and grain were in the red). YTD net orders are up 40%, led by a 110% gain in reefers, while dry vans are up 33%,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research.
Maly continued, “Although we expect trailer orders to be roughly 1.5x Class 8 tractor orders over the long-run, the 3MMA of trailer orders has been declining since December, and slid below 1.0 in both July and August; that’s an indication of both fleet attitudes and their willingness to continue to invest in new equipment, with truck OEMs perhaps just a bit more willing to book longer-term commitments.”
Additionally, the report noted that the industry continues to experience inventory-related issues. Maly commented, “Indications are that OEMs would have built more trailers but were limited by continuing component and material availability challenges. Tires are frequently noted as a bottleneck, with undercarriage components and wheels continuing to be mentioned as well. Red-tags are also apparently continuing to occur, but less mention of them may indicate a bit less overall impact than in Q2. That said, we expect an attempt to clear some of those in the quarter-ending month of September.”