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Trailer orders modestly lower than expected

December 2007 trailer orders released by A.C.T. totaled 12,378, which is “modestly lower” than Bear Stearns' low-end expectations of 13,000-15,000 and down 47% year-over-year (vs. down 46% year-over-year in November 2007).

Dry van orders were 6,910 in December (vs. 9,947 in November), a 48% drop year-over-year (vs. a 45% decline year-over-year in November). Flatbed orders were 934 in December (vs. 1,109 in November), a 55% decrease year-over-year (vs. a 49% fall year-over-year in November).

Dry van builds totaled 6,919, down 19% year-over-year (vs. a 45% drop year-over-year in November). Total trailer builds were 12,452 in December, a 21% decline year-over-year (vs. a 42% drop year-over-year in November). Dry van backlog-to-build ratios deteriorated 2% year-over-year to 5.1x (vs. year-over-year improvement of 13% year-over-year in November). Total trailer backlog-to-build ratios improved 6% year-over-year in December to 6.3x (vs. a 10% gain year-over-year in November).

“Remember, there's no emissions cycle in trailers,” Bear Stearns said. “As best as we can tell, there's little reason for optimism for trailer demand for the foreseeable future.”

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