ACT Research’s preliminary estimate for January 2019 net trailer orders is 25,800 units.
“While the industry had the weakest January order volume since 2016, it was still sufficient enough to generate very minor order board growth. January net orders were off 7 percent versus December and 35 percent down year-over-year,” says Frank Maly, ACT Research director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research.
Maly reports slower dry van and reefer trailer volume contributed to the declines. Indications are lower orders were not the result of weak fleet demand, as some OEMs report unwillingness to accept additional orders that would extend order boards that, according to some reports, already fill available 2019 build slots.
“That slight gain in the order board means that January was the third consecutive month that the industry posted an all-time record backlog, although the pace of improvement is beginning to wane,” Maly says. “With backlogs extending through the year for dry vans and reefers, OEMs would likely need to quickly open 2020 orderbooks to allow for further backlog growth in the near-term. Also, although the industry reported the highest monthly cancellations since August 2016, the rate of cancellations versus the order board remains well within acceptable limits.”
Final volume will be available later this month. Act Research’s methodology allows it to generate a preliminary estimate of the market that should be within +/- 3 percent of the final order tally.