June’s preliminary net trailer orders decreased sequentially, and were lower against longer-term comparisons, with 6,300 units (8,000 seasonally adjusted) projected to have been booked during the month, according to ACT Research. Final June results will be available later this month. This preliminary market estimate should be within +/-5% of the final order tally.
“Preliminary net orders were 34% lower compared to May’s intake, and down 75% versus the same month last year,” said Jennifer McNealy, director CV market research and publications at ACT Research. “Seasonal expectations suggest orders are likely to remain soft the coming few months, particularly given near record-level order backlogs. Trailer manufacturers normally spend mid-year working down the backlog ahead of the next year’s full orderboard opening.”
Still, albeit against strong comparisons, demand is softening, McNealy noted.
“But with 2024 orderboards just beginning to open, it is no surprise that net orders in June were the lowest they’ve been so far this year. That is simply part of the cycle,” McNealy said. “However, we’re seeing increased and broad-based cancellations, but we’re hearing that much of this is a dealer stocking issue, rather than a general decline in fleets’ appetite for equipment. Since backlogs remain relatively healthy, most fleets needing trailers remain in queue.”
Using preliminary June orders and the corresponding OEM build plans from the June State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report (May data) for guidance, the trailer backlog should decrease by around 22,000 units to about 172,000 units when complete June data are released, according to the analyst.
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.