ACT Research: U.S. trailer orders rise 27 percent in May

Seasonal patterns predicted a significant sequential net order decline in May. Net orders were 22,900 not seasonally adjusted, off only 2 percent month-over-month, but this translated to a 27 percent increase when compared with May 2017, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.

The dramatic seasonally adjusted strength in net orders, up 23 percent month over month, was highly dry van focused, ACT says, as most other trailer categories saw seasonally adjusted sequential declines or minimal increases, at best, the report notes.

“With assistance from dry vans, the industry posted the 18th straight month with year over year net order improvement, and fleets must now patiently await delivery of the trailers that fill the vast majority of this year’s production slots,” says Frank Maly, director, ACT Research commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research.

“May production was a bit weaker than we projected, with continued reports of component issues generating near-term challenges, and tariffs and trade wars listed as potentials for future difficulties,” Maly says. “May build of 27,900 trailers not seasonally adjusted was up 3 percent month-over-month, but off 5 percent when seasonal adjustments were applied. This could be the first indication that some of the industry’s usual build season production increases might be a bit more elusive this year, despite the robust orderboard.”

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