Preliminary reports show trailer OEMs posted 8,800 net orders in May, off 39% versus April, but almost 170% better than the COVID-impacted level last year, according to ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report. Final May volume will be available later this month.
“The sequential decline in net orders was no surprise, as the impact of supply and staffing headwinds overcame continued strong market demand,” said Frank Maly, director CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. “With industry backlogs for dry vans and reefers extending well into next year, OEMs are reticent to continue to book orders that would further extend their delivery horizons. Some fleets may be unwilling to extend their commitments, as well.”
The combination of those concerns generates headwinds to additional order placement, and accentuates the seasonal softness that normally occurs in late spring and early summer, he noted.
“While these early reports indicate that OEMs did improve production rates in May, the increase was not as strong as they would prefer,” Maly said. “Until meaningful increases in build rates can be attained, expect order acceptance by OEMs to remain somewhat restrained.”
ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report provides a monthly review of the current US trailer market statistics, as well as trailer OEM build plans and market indicators divided by all major trailer types, including backlogs, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders, and factory shipments.