February trailer orders surpass 24,000 units as demand remains high

Act February 2021 Trailer Orders CopyPreliminary trailer orders slipped last month, landing just north of 24,000 units, ACT Research reported Thursday.

Despite the month-over-month slip, February's total was still 82 percent higher than the same period last year. ACT's Frank Maly, director, CV transportation analysis and research, says similar year over year booms are to be expected in the months ahead.

“Given last year’s COVID-related softer economy, year-over-year improvement for net orders is a foregone conclusion over the next few months," he says. "February’s sequential decline in net orders was a bit larger than seasonal patterns would project, but was directionally correct.”

Maly adds that preliminary results for the month still show the industry backlog continued to grow in February, reaching the highest point since March 2019. With many OEMs reporting their capacity committed for the year, Maly says there may be some reluctance to push the backlog horizon out even further, on both the part of OEMs and fleets.

“The backlog horizon will be pulled forward in response to higher OEM build rates," he says. "February prelims indicate that goal remains elusive, with minimal increases in production rates last month. Our discussions indicate that staffing remains the primary headwind impeding higher production, with component and material supplies also noted as concerns. Fleets want to add more trailers to their operations, but would certainly like more advantageous delivery timeframes.”

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