New US trailer orders climbed 7% month-over-month to 14,800 units in August, and after accounting for cancellations, net orders hit their second sequential increase in nine months, rising 2% from July to 10,600 units.
However, orders are down 72% compared to August 2018, and year-to-date net trailer orders are 51% below last year, according to ACT Research in its latest State of the Industry: US Trailer Report, which provides a monthly review of current US trailer market statistics, as well as trailer OEM build plans and market indicators.
“With 2020 orderboards fully open, the dramatic lack of fleet interest continues to astound,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research. “Uncertainty breeds inaction, and many factors are pushing fleets to observe the market from the sidelines. Poor financials, the result of lower freight demand and weak rates, portend a challenging financial road ahead, while more general economic uncertainties generate additional headwinds.
“New orders are being placed at half the pace of January, while cancellations are nearly double the unit volume but more than three times the rate to the backlog of Q1. Fleets are unwilling to commit investment for next year, while still adjusting this year’s spending. Reports indicate that some orders were actually cancel/reorders, effectively pushing late ‘19 volume into next year, sometimes at OEM request.”
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