Trailer Orders Decline, As Expected

According to figures released by A.C.T. yesterday, total trailer orders were 10,238 in September, down 11% year-over-year -- roughly inline with the expectations of Bear Stearns.

“While still down year-over-year, orders increased sequentially for the first time since May,” Bear Stearns said.

Dry van orders were 4,931 in September (vs. 3,844 in August), down 2% year-over-year (vs. down 63% year-over-year in August). Flatbed orders were 1,186 in September (vs. 1,116 in August), down 25% year-over-year (vs. down 65% year-over-year in August).

Dry van builds were 9,397, down 34% year-over-year (vs. down 33% year-over-year in August). Total trailer backlog-to-builds ratios improved 1% year-over-year to 5.0x (vs. down 8% year-over-year in August). Dry van backlog-to-build ratios improved 1% year-over-year to 4.0x (vs. down 9% year-over-year in August).

Dry van inventories remain at historically high levels. Dry van inventories were 9,282 in September (vs. 10,458 in August), up 77% year-over-year (vs. up 84% year-over-year in August). Dry van inventories are now roughly 1,300 units lower than they were at the end of the second quarter.

Total trailer cancellation rates were 2.7% in September, improving 240bp year-over-year (vs. deterioration of 10.9pp year-over-year in August). Dry van cancellations were 1.0% in September, improving 180bp year-over-year (vs. deterioration of 440bp year-over-year in August).

“As best as we can tell, there’s little reason for optimism for trailer demand for the foreseeable future,” Bear Stearns said.

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