ACT Research: December trailer orders set stage for healthy 2021

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December net U.S. trailer orders of 43,806 units grew 11 percent from the previous month and were up nearly 150 percent year-over-year, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.

Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 45,800 units were up 11 percent versus November, but 148 percent better than the previous December. Full-year 2020 net orders were 41 percent improved from those recorded for full-year 2019.

“Large fleets continue to contribute to the orderboard, while dealer stocking orders also aided volume in December,” says Frank Maly, ACT director–CV transportation analysis and research. “Strength continued in dry vans, but reefers eased from a very robust November. Sequential improvement occurred in many vocational categories, a pleasant change although vocational segment demand remains well under last year’s levels.”

Maly adds, “The industry is now set for a very robust 2021 for dry vans, reefers and flats. The 2020 year-end backlog is the third-best in industry history and 50 percent better than the average year-end orderboard of 2010-2019. The challenge for OEMs will be to increase build rates to address this solid orderboard, creating additional production slots as we move through the year.”

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