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ACT: Van, reefer backlogs spill into 2019; orders up 26% this year

ACT’s preliminary estimate for May 2018 net trailer orders is 23,300 units, up year-over-year for the 18th straight month.

“Fleet investment continues at a torrid pace. While normal seasonal patterns call for a month-over-month decline in the high teens, May net order volume was just 2% below April,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s Director of CV Transportation Analysis and Research. “The major factors that have been driving the market, solid freight rates and tight capacity, with the added aid of beneficial tax changes, continue to provide the fuel for this ongoing order flow.”

Year-to-date, more than 151,000 net orders have been booked, up more than 26% versus last year.

“At current build rates, it appears that dry van and reefer backlogs, on average, have crossed into early 2019.,” Maly added. “Their influence pushes the industry average backlog-to-build well into December. Most vocational trailer categories appear to have backlogs that stretch into early fall.”

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