ACT Research announced Thursday its preliminary estimate for August 2019 net trailer orders is 10,500 units.
“On the positive side, total orders were up 7 percent versus July. However, cancellations pulled the net order results down to a 2 percent sequential gain,” says Frank Maly, director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research, ACT Research. “Indications were that cancels were highest in the industry’s core product categories, dry vans, reefers, and flatbeds, indicating fleets and dealers are still reassessing their true equipment needs for the remainder of this year.”
Considering normal seasonal patterns along with the widespread opening of 2020 orderboards, ACT Research state a more significant sequential order improvement would have been expected.
“On a seasonally adjusted basis, net orders actually declined 14 percent from July,” says Maly. “That indicates market pressures of economic uncertainty, lower freight volumes and rates, as well as tariff concerns, are all causing fleets to closely assess their investment plans and very cautiously extend their commitments into next year.”
ACT adds that although some order improvement should occur in upcoming months, the pace may well be slower than historic order patterns would predict. Additionally, production rates increased versus July, so when the shrinking orderboard is taken into account, the total industry backlog-to-build horizon remained in mid-January for the second consecutive month, the company says.