Backlog continued to be positive in October, with a stronger-than-expected improvement of 6% month-over-month and 8% year-over-year.
“Eight of ten categories were up month-over-month, with liquid tanks and reefers the outliers,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. “Eight of ten were also in the black year-over-year, with medium lowbeds and reefers in the red.”
October’s longer production schedule was almost perfectly offset by lower build rates.
“The 25.7k trailers built last month was up less than 1% sequentially,” said Maly. “Year-to-date production of 247.5k trailers is also up less than 1% year over year.”
October production, for the most part, was in line with ACT Research expectations.
“We expect Q4’17 daily production to be about 5% down from Q3 levels,” noted Maly. “Our projections indicate that total 2017 trailer production will be about 3% higher than last year, and some increase in factory inventory will result in a slightly smaller year-over-year gain in shipments versus 2016.”