August’s preliminary net trailer orders increased from July, to 11,500 units, but were lower against longer-term comparisons, ACT Research reported.
As one of the weakest order months of the year, seasonal adjustment (SA) boosts August’s SA tally to 14,700 units. Final August results will be available later this month. This preliminary market estimate should be within +/-5% of the final order tally, the industry research firm noted.
“With still high backlogs, 2024 orderboards only minimally open, and August as a traditionally weak order month, it remains too soon for robust expectations,” said Jennifer McNealy, director CV market research and publications at ACT Research. “Additionally, the data continue to provide mixed messages, with cancellations remaining elevated, driven primarily by the dry van and flatbed segments, even as backlogs remain at healthy levels.”
In July, the BL/BU ratio was north of six months in aggregate, with some specialty segments having no available build slots until the beginning of 2025, McNealy noted.
“Demand may be softening, but it’s not gone,” she said. “The next few months should provide more illumination on the 2024 outlook, as orders move from the current negotiation stage into booked business.”
When asked about the trajectory, McNealy suggested trailer backlog to decrease by around 21,700 units to about 135,600 units when complete August data are released.
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.