June net U.S. trailer orders of 10,952 units grew nearly 18% from the previous month but were almost 20% lower compared to June of 2020, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report. Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 13,100 units were up more than 7% versus May, but down 19% from the previous June.
“Despite sequential improvement, net orders continue to be diminished by a ‘pause’ in order acceptance at several OEMs. However, that pause was not universal, as reefers surged 90% from a very lackluster May,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. “Without that support, total industry volume could easily have posted a net order decline to close the quarter.”
ACT Research noted that the industry also posted the first year-over-year decline in net orders since May of 2020, the end of the COVID-induced order retrenchment last year.
“The ratio of trailer orders to truck orders (shown in the graph above), is an indicator of the degree of impact the order pause is generating,” Maly said. “Normally ranging around 1.5, the trailer/tractor net order ratio started Q2 just below 1.0 and plummeted to approximately 0.65 at quarter’s end. This is an indication of pent-up demand that likely will be quickly addressed when orderboards officially open for 2022.”
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.