ACT Research: July trailer orders post a “significant improvement”

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The industry continues to improve from the COVID-generated historic low order volume posted in April, says Frank Maly, ACT Research director – CV Transportation Analysis and Research, regarding net U.S. trailer orders in July.

“At this time last year, however, fleets were in a freight volume and rate-driven investment retrenchment that continued through last September/October,” Maly adds.

July trailer orders of 18,851 units were a significant improvement, a 40 percent increase, from June’s uptick and well above July 2019’s level, an 80 percent increase. Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 20,000 units were up 26 percent compared with June and 44 percent better year-over-year, according to ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.

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Fleets are showing confidence in the freight markets and have increased their ordering volumes accordingly, says Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles.

“Our conversations this month indicate that a change in fleet attitudes began to occur in mid-June, when they began to investigate availability and pricing. Discussions following the July 4 holiday break shifted toward active negotiations and order placement.” Maly says.

“An interesting dichotomy for the industry was occurring at that time. As OEMs extended holiday downtime, fleets began to make investment commitments, with larger fleets leading the way and trailer order strength concentrated in the dry van segment,” he adds.

ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report provides a monthly review of the current U.S. 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.

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